Moving Experience

“As I emerged from the porch of Santa Croce, I was seized
with a fierce palpitation of the heart; the wellspring of life was dried up
within me, and I walked in constant fear of falling to the ground.” These
words were written by Stendhal in his book Naples and Florence: A Journey
from Milan to Reggio.

Terrance Mcnally wrote an hysterical play entitled The Stendhal Syndrom. An excerpt:

Stendhal’s Syndrome = a malaise first mentioned (or suffered) by the French author of  The Red and the Black, which can involve swooning or feeling faint, and occurs when the tourist suffers a sensory overload in front of an artwork.

Hopefully you have had a moving experience while looking at art, sans fainting of course. Find an artist whose work has moved you or intrigued you and be prepared to work in the manner of that artist. Ask questions when looking at the paintings, i.e. What is your favorite thing about the work? Is there a repeated structure in  their work? Can you identify a focal point? How does your eye move around the picture plain? What does the palette communicate? If you cropped a painting, how would it change? Could it be better? What does the artist the paint about? If you love a representational piece, how would  you reduce it to lines and shapes? If you love an abstraction, how do the lines
and shapes create interest, deep space, suggestions of time or place, or an idea etc. Why do you respond to the work?  Why is it a moving experience?




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