I want my eyes to see it

I had the most interesting text conversation with a fellow artist yesterday. We were talking about a concept that we wanted to turn into a visual piece of art. And she said, “I want to take what just blossomed in my brain from your idea and mine and make it tangible. Somehow. Because I want my eyes to be able to see it…ha ha, wow.” We went on to laugh a bit about how possibly crazy we are, etc. but I think this is actually the crux of it, isn’t it? I want my eyes to be able to see it.


I printed off this photo that I took, of this magnificent pelican. It was one of those moments in life that you just want to freeze forever, you know? I was on this amazing island, and this bird just randomly chose the cliff I was on to swoop in and land. And pose, gorgeously, in front of this spectacular blue water. The wind blew its feathers a bit, and it eyed me with the pretentious air that seemed to accompany a bird of this size and might.

I had to draw it. I didn’t know till yesterday that I had to draw it…because I wanted my eyes to see it. I wanted to see it as a work of art. And I am the only one who could do it, this way, in this moment. Yes, I believe photography is an art form in and of itself, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn’t until I drew it that I noticed the way the feathers curved along its back, and formed a delineation line along its spine.   It wasn’t until I took pencil to paper that I saw that the shadows had a deep plum tinge to them, where the feathers get all spiky and knife-like. I kept drawing its bill wrong—because I was trying to draw what I thought it should look like. It wasn’t until I let go of my preconception and really observed how the bill actually presented, that I was able to make it work. It wasn’t until I tried to capture it on the page that I actually saw it. And marveled at it. And learned it. And honored it, somehow. My eyes wanted to see it, really see it, and recreate it as art.

What do your eyes need to see? What will be created, only if you create it? What poem rolls around in your mind…itching to be words on a page, in black and white? What assortment of ingredients cry out to be tasted on your tongue? What fabric combinations grab your attention, begging to be quilted, to be caressed by your fingers?


I won’t say that I made the best drawing ever created of a pelican. I won’t even say I was able to capture all of my observations in the piece. I didn’t. But I will say that I am even more completely blown away by this creature having made my eyes see it. Like this.

So grateful.

So inspired.

So aware of how much I still have to learn. And I am so hungry for more moments, and more chances to see.

Will you send me to see?



~ by collidescopes on September 15, 2015.

3 Responses to “I want my eyes to see it”

  1. The photo is just breathtaking 🙂

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