Friday, October 22, 2010

Redundancies Repeated

Some folks will tell you that I repeat myself.  That I say the same things over and over again.  That I'm repetitious and redundant.  I don't agree with that, and I don't think they are right.  I like to think that I think in recurring patterns.  And I am not alone.

I've been painting pictures for a long time.  Landscapes and seascapes mostly, with the occasional portrait thrown in.  And in all these years I've done a great deal of just sitting and looking.  I think one of the most important skills one can learn as a painter is the skill of observation.  If you don't really see it, you can't paint it.  So as soon as you're done reading this blog, get outside and stare at something.  In my countless hours of endless gazing, I have noticed that Nature, much like myself, likes to repeat herself.  Now, we have all heard about the "endless variety of Nature".  Not quite so fast, now... it may be true-- to a point.  Because I've noticed Nature has slipped some redundancies right under our noses!  Don't believe me?  Take a look at this sand dune:

Notice the striations of the wind blown sand?   Now here's a sample of tree bark:

I don't know what that white thing is, but the pattern of bark sure looks like a sand dune, doesn't it?  Hey, Nature's not stupid, why waste a perfectly good pattern?  Wanna see it again?  OK.  Look at this picture of water ripples:

Whoa, now!  It's looking like a sand dune and tree bark.  Surely, you say, I must have reached the limit to these coincidences?  Then what do you say about this:

I don't know who R. Thumb is, but I thank him for this photo.  Anyway, it seems even human skin has the same patterns as water, sand, and tree bark! 

So, when you are painting, look for these little redundancies yourself.  Rocks and boulders are miniature mountains, a bare tree is an inverted lightening strike.  Heck, even from hundreds of miles away, the mountains on the Moon look like skin, which looks like sand which looks like bark which looks like water:

 Oh, I'm sorry!  That's not a mountain range on the Moon--  it's Morley Safer!

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