|[Quote No.62411] Need Area: Property > Garden/Nature |
"[The difference between seeing and observing:] Let two persons go out for a walk; the one a good sketcher [keen observer], the other having no taste of the kind. Let them go down a green lane. There will be a great difference in the scene as perceived by the two individuals. The one will see a lane and trees; he will perceive the trees to be green, though he will think nothing about it; he will see that the sun shines, and that it has a cheerful effect, but that the trees make the lane shady and cool; and he will see an old woman in a red cloak; et voilà tout!
But what will the sketcher [keen observer] see? His eye is accustomed to search into the cause of beauty, and penetrate the minutest parts of loveliness. He looks up, and observes how the showery and subdivided sunshine comes sprinkled down among the gleaming leaves overhead, till the air is filled with the emerald light, and the motes dance in the green, glittering lines that shoot down upon the thicker masses of clustered foliage that stand out so bright and beautiful from the dark, retiring shadows of the inner tree, where the white light again comes flashing in from behind, like showers of stars; and here and there a bough is seen emerging from the veil of leaves, of a hundred varied colours, where the old and gnarled wood is covered with the brightness, the jewel brightness of the emerald moss, or the variegated and fantastic lichens, white and blue, purple and red, all mellowed and mingled into a garment of beauty from the old withered branch. Then come the cavernous trunks, and the twisted roots that grasp with their snake-like coils at the steep bank, whose turfy slope is inlaid with flowers of a thousand dyes, each with his diadem of dew: and down like a visiting angel, looks one ray of golden light, and passes over the glittering turf kiss, kiss, kissing every blossom, until the laughing flowers have lighted up the lips of the grass with one bright and beautiful smile, that is seen far, far away among the shadows of the old trees, like a gleam of summer lightening along the darkness of an evening cloud.
Is not this worth seeing? Yet if you are not a sketcher [keen observer] you will pass along the green lane, and when you come home again, have nothing to say or to think about it, but that you went down such and such a lane.
From the most insignificant circumstance, from a bird on a railing, a wooden bridge over a stream, a broken branch, a child in a pinafore, or a waggoner in a frock, does the artist [keen observer] derive amusement, improvement, and speculation. In everything it is the same; where a common eye sees only a white cloud, the artist [keen observer] observes the exquisite gradations of light and shade, the loveliness of the mingled colours red, purple, grey, golden, and white; the graceful roundings of form, the shadowy softness of the melted outline, the brightness without lustre, the transparency without faintness, and the beautiful mildness of the deep heaven that looks out among the snowy cloud with its soft blue eyes; in fact, the enjoyment of the sketcher [keen observer] from the contemplation of nature is a thing which to another is almost incomprehensible. If a person who had no taste for drawing [keen observation] were at once to be endowed with both the taste and power, he would feel, on looking out upon nature, almost like a blind man who had just received his sight." - John Ruskin
(1819 - 1900), great Victorian art critic, philosopher and philanthropist.
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