Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mind Food

The more time I spend making the more I spend time away from the lathe to find reference for my work.

Tools and techniques can without too much difficulty be learnt in a comparatively quick time compared to understanding and being able to adopt the creative process. I guess because we can see the tools working it is easier to perhaps understand what we are needing to do with them.

Often it is forgotten that the mind is by far our most important and adaptable asset. If it is cluttered then we are not free to explore new ideas.

Like any other organism, our minds need food. The brain  it is estimated makes 20 million billion calculations/second, so it can processes the information we give it pretty efficiently. From what I understand (although I am in no way an expert), that a large part of the brain around 90% is not available to us conciously. IE it is working but in the background so to speak. This however does not mean that information we view, hear, smell and touch is not being processed and stored for later.

A process that I have used for many years is that of flooding.  By this I mean that I expose myself to as much information as possible about a subject or item in the belief that some of it albeit not conciously will be absorbed and available for later use.

An example of this is I will take time out to relax, clear my mind and photograph many hundreds of pictures from buildings, trees, plants, seeds, textures, colours etc etc etc. These are not only used as a visual reference in my work but also to connect re-connect me to the process of observing and taking note.

Often we look but do not see, and photography is a great way of getting us to look in the first place. But it also gives us a permenant reference for later study. It matters little if the pictures are of competition standard, but by observing and engaging with the subjects of our work we gain far more than just visual stimulas. We start to naturally understand the relationships of colour, how textures are made to list a few.

So training the brain and gathering reference material for me is an important part of what I do.

How can I understand about, shapes, form, colour, texture, contrast, etc etc etc if I do not spend the time looking and studying it.

It is also one of the most relaxing off shoots to our hectic lifstyles. The pictures may be stored for many months before I go back to them. However over time I have built up a library of several thousand pictures, all categorised for easy reference and this is a rich source that can be drawn upon.

Also I spend many hours just studying the pictures to find shapes, and forms and ideas.

So in order for me to understand about being creative I have to work hard to obtain the information.

So today I went to Stourhead Gardens, which is a short distance away from my home to de-clutter the brain and to spend some time taking photographs of anything that I found interesting.

I snapped over 300 pics in a couple of hours, here are few  which have been taken straight from the camera with only cropping being used. The colours of the Acer's ( my favourite tree) are as they were seen to the naked eye.

Also are a few pictures I will use for texture and form reference.

When I get the time I may go through my process of working from a reference picture/item to the finished item. Although I often have good intentions. !!  :-)


Lee Robert Sneddon said...

Hey Mark,

Some beautiful images here mate.

I also love the Acers, there colours are amazing, the ferns are still so green at this time of year.



George Foweraker said...

Hi Mark.
Thanks for sharing these pics.

Philip said...

Hi Mark.
What a good way to relax taking photos.

Mark said...

Hi Lee, George and Philip

Thank you for your interest, I hzve tried to reply several times but I think there has been a problem with blogger.


It is a great way to relax, as I have to take time to look and this can not be done in a hurry. At least not if I want to get the most out of the time.

Take care all