Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seeing verses Visual

I am trying to get my blog life back to some sort of reasonable normal here. I have missed you all, but I have so very enjoyed having my family home and spending time with my children. Thank you all for being patient with me.

Some of you had some questions about the eyes on the last post. You were wondering if they were mine... :), remember I am 50 years old and am not one who is really into plastic surgery. These are my eyes without any make up, I might add!
Do you think they look similar to the eyes on the last post? Older, maybe? Well, Babs gave a tip because she guessed they were Elizabethan, and she was right. The eyes on the last post were my daughter, Elizabeth's. Some people think she and I look a lot alike...even Elizabeth. We often put our heads together and snap a photo, so I have decided to show you our eyes together. Here you go:
You guessed right, I am the one with the glasses (which have since been changed, too).

These photographs of eyes have had me thinking about how much we, as visual artist, rely on our vision. In many cases, our eyes are our living. Several painters have become blind later in life, like Claude Monet. I can't imagine how difficult this must have been. A few months ago, though, I read a lot about Esref Armagan who has been blind since birth and paints in a realistic style! Can you imagine? I actually watched him draw, in perfect perspective, an old Italian building on a television show once. When you visit his web site and see the paintings he produces, you will probably wonder how in the world he does this since he has never seen these actual images...or has he? So here is today's question...do we have to see in order to be visual?

36 comments:

~Babs said...

Oh, I LOVE these smiling eyes! (both sets),,,and YES,,,I see the likeness, of course!
I think that's what I dislike the very most about getting old(er),,,having to wear glasses. I had perfect vision until I was 50, so guess I should be grateful for that,,,,now I'm glasses all the time.I've never gotten used to feeling them sitting there. Wore contacts for a few years,,but they don't work well any more. However, I LOVE being able to see,,,so whatever it takes!
Can't wait to see the video of the blind painter,,,that has to be fascinating! Here I go,,,,

Kim said...

Hi Babs!

Awe, thank you! I still struggle to see the similarities between the two of us. I think of Elizabeth as being so very beautiful, and I see me as being quite average...but it is a true honor she thinks of us as looking alike.

As far as the glasses. I have been wearing them since I was 10. I also wore contacts for years, however recently I have had some issues with eye infections and have given them up completely. I do not have to wear them all the time, though (only for distance...such as driving and watching movies). I feel very, very lucky. One of my greatest issues is with light sensitivity so sunglasses are actually more important than regular glasses.

I think I have misled you about the video...I did not link to a video...only the artist's web site.

Thanks so much, Babs!

Love,

Kim

~Babs said...

I'm back,,,wasn't really expecting a video,,,,don't know why I said video.
#%-D just wacky.

What an amazing thing,,,this man.
A truly wonderous thing,,,,just thinking about it boggles my mind. Painting often isn't easy when you ARE looking! I wonder about his hands,,,,since he uses oils,,,maybe he wears gloves, but I'm thinking that might impede the touching sensation.
Oh yes,,,,many many miracles in this world,,,and this one is HUGE!
Thanks for this story, I had not heard of him.

Kim said...

:) You make me laugh...I know how it is to say something and wonder where it came from. I think maybe I should look for a video about him. That was the reason you said it.

Isn't he amazing? I am glad you liked exploring his work. How does he do it? It is truly a miracle - a HUGE miracle!

Love,

Kim

San said...

Kim, I'd picked up on Babs's "Elizabethan" cue. I would say that you and Elizabeth certainly resemble each other, at least around the eyes! You both look full of mischief.

I now have to go to the blind artist's website...

Elizabeth said...

Don't be silly, Mom! You are beautiful too and most certainly not average! I think it's important for you to know that, considering that you're a visual artist. :)

Thank you for the guest appearance on your blog. I am honored! Nice job on the photographs. I remember where the one of the two of us was taken. Now, I must stop procrastinating and work on my teaching materials.

Love, E

Danielle M. Le Bris said...

Beautiful sunny eyes :)

Hello,

I have not written to you for a very long time....

First we had a devastating ice storm in NH and I broke my leg....
For 3 weeks we didn't have telephone nor internet access.
So, it is late that I come to wish you a Happy New Year.

I hope your Christmas was Beautiful!

Danielle

Kim said...

Hi San,

I have to say when Elizabeth and I are together we can get into a bit of mischief, but we have to be by ourselves. We also have our own brand of mischief.

I hope you like the web site...it is amazing to be sure.

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Hi Honey,

Awe, I miss you so much! You do the greatest things for my head, too! Thanks Sweetie!

Ah, yes, Andrea will be glad to know that photo was taken in Paris on our last trip there. When are we going back? I am ready when you are, okay? I am thinking you have a little bit of work to do, first, though. Get going with your materials prep, because those students are going to be waiting for you to be prepared for them.

Thanks Sweetie! You can be a guest here whenever you like, okay?

I Love You,

Mom

Kim said...

Oh Happy New Year, Danielle, and Merry Christmas, too!

I have missed you, but I have also been watching your blog. You have broken your leg? How terrible! You have had quite a time with your renovations and now this! Our other friend in NH felt the impact of that ice storm, but only had 2 days of not having electricity. I hope you are able to do a bit of painting or some drawing these days...somehow that seems to help when we are feeling as though we are isolated and not able to do our normal tasks!

I wish for you a Very Happy 2009, Danielle!

Love,

Kim

Leon Basin said...

Hey, how are you doing?

Kim said...

Thanks for your visit, Leon. So do you think we have to see in order to be visual?

Lynette said...

Oooh Kim, you and your daughter's eyes look so much alike and you both have very beautiful eyes! I have bifocals now and that is one thing I really miss about my younger eyes, being able to see without glasses.

Jessie Lilac said...

Hi Kim, I love this photo of you and your daughter together! You must be so proud. Good to see you back :)x

Kim said...

Hi Lynette!

Thank you...I am afraid my eyes have a much "softer" (isn't that a nice way to say it?) look than Elizabeth's.

I know I could wear bifocals, however my eyes are not that bad. After considering it and talking to the doctor, I have chosen not to go that route. I think trying to transition to them would cause me more havoc than I would gain from them. Since I do really great with just distance lens I think I am just going to leave it at that for as long as I can stand it.

Thanks Lynette!

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Hello Jess!

It is good to be back, thank you! I have missed by blog friends.

Are you keeping warm? I have been thinking about you with a broken heater. I will check on you soon!

Love,

Kim

D.M. Le Bris said...

Good morning Kim,

Snowing here - AGAIN!.
The ice storm hit the south west of NH extremely hard. Our street was lucky to have recovered electricity after one week. The big majority in our town had to wait 3 weeks. People lived in shelters and of course we had looters. The Governor had to call the National Guards to patrol our town.... It felt like we were in a war zone.The landscapes have been reshaped. Very uncomfortable feeling! I am surprise that you did hear about it. The Governor declared south NH as disaster area. We should get federal aid (maybe!..)
Now that it is over and my leg is slowly feeling better, I just can't wait to paint again....I miss it and I miss talking to you.
Have a great day.
Love,
Danielle

Kim said...

Hi Danielle,

Okay, do you know Suki? I think she is in the sw part of NH. I cannot imagine how horrible it was to have the national guard in place there...it must have felt kind of creepy (yes, you say "uncomfortable"). Oh we heard about it to be sure. It was talked about quite a bit on CNN.

I broke my arm when I was 9 years old, but I cannot imagine dealing with a broken leg (and as an adult, too). You have to miss painting a lot...since you did not get much done this summer, either.

How did your kitchen turn out?

I miss talking to you, too, Danielle and am so glad you are back to blogging at least.

Here is a Big Warm Hug for you!

Love,

Kim

sukipoet said...

Kim it is great to hear from you again. Glad you have been having great times with your family. You and your daughter's eyes have a mischievous sparkle and a bit of an almond shape to them. I think one could be "visual" with ones sense of feel or touch. IE this man, he is visual as the work he does manifests in a visual way. If he opted to write via dictation or whatever then he would be a writer. Beethoven was deaf and he was a composer and musician because the work he did manifested as music. I guess that's how I would see it :). No matter what the handicap, ones "definition" would come from how ones work manifests.

Loved reading all these comments and the dialogue with yr daughter. Also with DM LeBris. I never made it to her show, as that was when Mom was going downhill and it's an hour drive to where the show was. Also, I didnt realize that the storm wreaked such havoc in her area to have the national guard. I dont think they were around here. anyway. Be well, Suki ps going out right now but will come back to follow the link.

Kim said...

Hello Suki,

It is really good to be back with my friends here in blog land...I miss you all so much, but I had a great time with my family, too.

I have to tell you when I was working with these photos of our eyes, I kept thinking about you and your mother - how much alike you looked. I even was showing my husband photos of the two of you.

Now, you are right I see...it is not how something happens, but the result which manifests. Now I do have the question remaining of how can these realistic images be known to someone who has never been able to see. Does he have some sight? Most deaf people can feel vibrations...are there also visual vibrations which sighted people do not understand? Oh, it is so amazing to me...I want to feel visual vibrations, if that is what this blind man understands. You know? Of course, that is probably not for me. I am convinced some sense (one I know or maybe one I do not know) is heightened for this man to allow him to paint like this.

Suki, your wonderful understanding of art and the artistic life adds so much to my understanding of these questions I pose. Thank you so much for such wonderful insights.

Danielle really had some issues out her way. I cannot imagine what you all went through up there, but I am so glad it did not last any longer for you. Maybe you and Danielle can find a common show or something to see once she is able to get around a bit better.

Thanks Suki and I can't wait to hear what you have to say about the web site!

Love,

Kim

Lynn said...

What a concept a blind artist. Amazing. It's a fear going blind. I had a torn retinia this past year repaired and the thought that had I not discovered it in time and had it fixed I could have lost my sight totally boggled my mind.
my hearing is poor and this I inherited from grandma and mom, but that does not concern me...as long as the hearing aids work, I can do my work (money earning work)...and I don't mind not hearing really well, but vision, that is something else all together. OY, I pray I keep my vision.
And as to the photos, well the EYES have it! Two lovely sets!!!! Mom and daughter! Two beauties!!! And yes there is a definite resemblance.

Dianne said...

Dear Kim, you have the most beautiful eyes, your character shines through them. Elizabeth has inherited exactly the same shape of eyes.
I love her comment to you!
Love Dianne x x

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Hello Dianne,

I have to admit I am always overwhelmed with emotion when she pops in here to leave a comment. I think knowing how busy she is makes it so very special to me. I am one very lucky mom.

Thanks Dianne for your beautiful comment.

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Hi Lynn,

Sorry this is out of sequence. I depend on my email and your comment didn't come in as usual. Strange...you know how blogger can be sometimes, though...

I know what you mean about the loss of sight. My grandparents were deaf and I also have hearing loss (to top it off, my daughter's boyfriend only has 1/4th of his hearing). One of the most amazing friends when I was growing up was a man who was both blind and deaf (he was a friend of my grandfather's). I loved spending time with Richard and he was wonderful to allow me to ask him questions others were not comfortable asking. I would spend hours talking to him (my grandfather would have to remind me he wanted time to talk with him, too, as Richard could only converse with one person at a time). He could do the most amazing things...cook, swim, etc...but I think the most incredible was his love of diving off the high dive at the pool of the complex where he and his wife lived.

I suppose the point is when we loose senses others become more acute. I am also convinced that in some cases there are senses used which are not even identified. The older we become, though, the more I think we have problems adapting to changes such as loss of senses. As you say, my vision is so critical to the person I am.

Thanks Lynn.

Love,

Kim

Sabi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sabi said...

kim,glad to know that you had nice holidays and i like both of eyes..Elizabeth and yours...I can see lots of inosense in both of your eyes.. In my opinion, we dont have to see in order to visualize the other person.. I think, people can be seen and understand by so many other ways feelings, communication, and reading etc. In order to understand people's nature,not necessary to see people in face. i really like your question.

Take Care
God Bless

sukipoet said...

Kim you are right. We are still left with the question of how a man blind from birth knows what certain things look like. I can understand him holding an orange and feeling it and maybe somebody MUST tell him what color it is. They just must. But certain things one cant hold to get the shape of them. I dont know. I looked at the website and he does seem quite amazing. His artwork has a childlike sense to it I thought.

Kim, I only just tonight, thursday, saw your question on my post about opening. Yes, please do quote me. I am honored. Thank you. Suki

Kim said...

Hi Sabi,

I also hope your holiday was lovely. It is exciting to be beginning a new year, don't you think?

I do think when we loose or do not have some senses, then others become more acute. Clearly the sixth sense comes into play a great deal, too.

Thanks for visiting me, Sabi. You are always so welcome here.

Love,

Kim

Kim said...

Oh Suki, only a word artist such as yourself can even think how to explain to a blind man what color is like. When I consider that challenge, my words take a holiday. It is similar to when Elizabeth asked me to explain what baking bread smelled like without using the word yeast or yeasty.

When I saw him do the drawing of the building (which was octagonal) he did walk around it and touch it...but not a lot. He said he had to get the sense of it. He was curious about the height and asked about that. The thing is there were columns which ran the height of the building and he was able to get that just perfectly. He held the paper and the points on the paper with his fingers, which made sense. How does he do that with paint, though? You are right it is childlike, but when you think even of that it is amazing.

Thanks for the okay to place your quote in my box. I just love those words so much. You give so many gifts to us.

Love,

Kim

Jessica Torrant said...

Such beautiful eyes - both of you! My vision is actually getting worse and worse and sometimes it scares me but then I think of art school and squinting at a painting and well, at least now I don't have to squint! haha Of course, I've been terrible about wearing glasses. But that's on the to do list for 2009 - new specs!

Kim said...

Hi Jessica,

Thank you so much!

I know a lot about those aging eyes and all that squinting, too. I loved wearing contacts, but that just is not an option any longer...and it scares me with all of the things flying around in the studio, too. One of the things I have learned about buying glasses is how important it is to first make sure they are comfortable and also fall in love with the frames! Like most things if you love them and they are comfortable you will wear them. My new glasses are down right sassy and I love that attitude. If most traditional people don't like them then I love them! Now how bad is that?

Thanks Jessica!

Love,

Kim

marianne said...

Wonderful eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I saw yours I knew they were conected with the ones I saw first!
The answer came soon!
You sure look a lot like each other and the eyes are wonderful! (for me the m,ost important part of someone!)
The rest of the post was also very interesting. Love the link of the blind painter.
I think he remembers it from a previous live.
Exceptions are there but I do think the eyes are very important to be visual.
hug >M<

Kim said...

Marianne, that is the sweetest thing to say.

Like you, I love eyes and think they share so much of the person behind them....I suppose that old saying "the eyes are the window to the soul" is true for me.

I am glad you liked the link about the blind painter...pretty awesome, uh? Previous life...I was thinking something similar.

Thanks Marianne!

Cestandrea said...

Smiling eyes, I only discover now:) I notice, that automatically, looking at these eyes, I smile without noticing it at first!!!! Isn't that funny? There is an inner smile which is in these eyes:)
love and smiles
Andrea

Kim said...

Hi Andrea!

You know, I have noticed other people smile when someone smiles at them and much of a smile is done with the eyes. If you think about it the mouth moves slightly, but the eyes really move. The other thing is when Elizabeth does not smile she appears very sad, but the slightest smile makes the greatest difference in one's perception of her. I wonder if the same is true for me?

Thanks Andrea...I think there is probably an inner smile behind a special German artist's eyes...you know the one who lives in Paris.

Here is a Hug for you!

Love,

Kim