5 comments


  • I am forwarding this article to my class of regular students. I hope they hear an echo in the room when they read it and benefit from hearing a similar message in someone else’s language and visual references. Just as language and labelling tends to inhibit right-brain functioning, language confuses and interferes with perception and understanding. All artists would do well to consider this concept to avoid falling into the rabbithole of iconic visualization and literal representation. I love Monet’s suggestion on how to “see” what is in front of us. I am sure my students perceive me with these warnings imprinted on my forehead: Don’t be so literal. Don’t tell the whole story. Think in terms of the elements of design…..such as line and color.
    All good principles bear repeating. Thank you for doing so so succinctly in your article.

    July 21, 2011
  • I’m almost ashamed to list my website here as there is very little evidence of Jerry’s teachings on it.

    According to Napoleon Hill, procrastination is one of the greatest causes of failure. I’m guilty. I have yet to buy new canvasses/boards specifically for this method of painting as I have felt I needed to work my way through a stack of art material accumulated over half a lifetime. I know – shocking!

    Result? I will have to wend my way to Lake Como for a third session with The Master in order to refresh my memory and, well, many other reasons. Conchitina’s food, for one thing! So, be warned, Jerry.

    I do love your work!

    July 23, 2011
    • Jerry Fresia

      Hi Maria – My teacher always used to say, “At some point take ‘the method,’ throw it out the window and find yourself.” His point (which I fully agree with) is that the
      method he taught, and which I now teach, is little more than a springboard or maybe a set of training wheels. The intention, and this is really the crux of
      Impressionism, is for each of us to find our own voice and sing – mightily and fearlessly. Independence is the watchword. Now, “the method,” given that it is
      solid and the distillation of hundreds of years of painting knowledge, ought not to be discarded simply because one wishes to spread his or her wings. I think we need to spend a bit of time with it and get to know it. I wouldn’t throw it out the window until I have thoroughly worn it out. I’m not there yet. Long story short, no need to find me in your work. Procrastination? Well, puttering around, at times, is part of the creative process. Only you know if it is really procrastination. But I would keep in mind that if it is fear that is holding you back, the results aren’t the important thing. The measure of a painting is always the feelings you have as you make it – not unlike so many of life’s activities. If you are moved, it is not possible to fail or fear. Get to the feelings and the rest will follow.

      July 23, 2011
  • Jerry,

    Thank you for addressing this very issue that has hindered me in my painting in the past. Seeing an object through language, and not as color, or shape, (fear of the ‘apple’ or ‘grass’ – getting it as it appears) thus, frustration. Only lately have I found that one must as you say, see shape, color, temperature as units in a whole. Since looking at this in that standpoint, I have begun to really enjoy painting for what it is, an expression of one’s self through feeling, color, shape, line, and not worrying about the ‘red’ apple, ‘green’ grass, etc. Living in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, it is almost impossible to participate in a workshop, but your videos and this newsletter, is the next best thing!

    July 23, 2011
  • […] the original post: Language and the Art of Seeing – Jerry FresiaFRESIA Comments […]

    July 27, 2011

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