Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Eye Doctor

Tink 12 x 12 oil 2006 LPressman

Chapter 4 24 x 18 2007 LPressman

I have been wearing glasses since I was five. A while ago, I went to the eye doctor. He is an older guy, in his seventies, and he asked me as he was looking at my prescription, "what do you do?" I told him I am a painter. He said: " What do you paint?" I said: "I am an abstract painter."

He said "I can absolutely see why you paint abstractly." He went on to tell me it is related to my eyesight. I have severe astigmatism/near/far and now the bifocal thing is bad.

Time Piece 30 x30 encaustic 2007 LPressman

It was an Ah ha moment- the idea that the ophthalmologist could understand what I paint through my prescription was something that had never occurred to me. He then preceded to tell me about being at a conference where he and other ophthalmologists visited a museum to look at Matisse, Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and others and diagnosed their eye conditions.

Interesting articles on the subject here at the Science Geek Girl blog and here.

I retold this story recently-taking off my glasses. When I put them back on, it occurred to me that my original vision is one of blurred distorted shapes, colors, values, shadows light.......

Time Travel 38 x 41 encaustic L Pressman

and the correction by my glasses creates a focused magnified view.

Another ah ha moment!

I flip back and forth between the two when making art- Welcome to my Macro/ Micro world!

The Microscope 16 x16 encaustic 2007

Linking 3 24 x 24 encaustic 2009 LPressman


Leslie Avon Miller said...

Well that is interesting. I have to squint to see the pieces differently – values, passages, balance, shapes. All of this work of yours is delicious Lisa.

Katherine said...

Gorgeous work Lisa. I love your story. Really funny about the opthalmologists at the museum. Guess we all see the world through our own lens (oh did I just say that?).

Jeane said...

fascinating! - I've been here quite awhile this morning, just drooling over each piece! love these!

Nancy Natale said...

These paintings are just lovely, Lisa. No matter how you got there, I'm glad you arrived.

Anonymous said...

in the 1960s, Robert Ryman got glasses and is reported to have looked at his paintings and said, "Is that what I've been doing?"

lisa said...

Anonymous-Love that!! Thanks

Pia f. Walker said...

Thanks for providing me with this aha moment! That's a very interesting take on art, and life I guess.
I love this set of drawings - thank you so much for sharing!

CMC said...

Very interesting, Lisa. I'm also a person who has astigmatism and nearsightedness..along with the reading glasses now. Sometimes people ask me didn't I paint realistically at the beginning? I didn't for very long and the eyesight might be the reasoning for me as well.

Frank said...

This is really interesting! I'm gonna check out those other links. Your work is really good, btw. My eye doc is Brett Hamilton in Round Rock TX.

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Keep it up!
My page: vision without Glasses

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James Thatcher said...

It's a real blessing to use glasses...I've been removing mine in the studio as well to see what I've really been up to. Instant abstraction of an abstraction--Life Is Good!

(Ps. Love your work.)