There is a neat part of Genesis where God and Adam are walking together around the world. This passage, by the way, helps explain what artists do. Or instead what artists do not do.
So from the soil Yahweh God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it.
So Adam gave a name to each creature. “Let’s call this a bird.” “That thing over there, let’s call it a flower.”
It was through Man’s naming God’s creations that we gave them meaning — through our perceptions.
Truth and Perception
There is a difference between what is (also called “truth”) and what we perceive.
If Man named an animal a dog but later changed the name to “cat,” it would still be a dog. We can perceive “truth” to be anything we want, but it doesn’t change what the “truth” is.
But wait, there’s more…
There is more to this puzzle, though.
When we look at an object, we often don’t see it as it is. We often see it through the filter of our perceptions.
If you look at a table, you see more than a table. You see a mahogany or a pine table. You see a narrow or a wide table. You see an ugly or beautiful table. That last observation, especially, was pure perception.
Forming our perceptions
We form our perceptions based on how we were “educated” to see the world. We, especially, don’t see people around us as they are. We see them through perceiving eyes.
OK, so what does this have to do with artists?
There are only two things in this world: truth and our perceptions of truth. Truth is absolute (often called “science”). We call perceptions “art.”
Artists know how to look at the world and see it for what it is. They see the “truth” in the world. Then they color the world through their perceptions and create “art.”
Our perception of the world is a masterpiece of art. It can be a beautiful masterpiece of heaven like Bill encouraged his fans to create. Or it could be a masterpiece of hell like that created by the Hitlers, Stalins, and Maos.
It’s your choice.
That’s why artists never paint what they see. They paint perceptions of what they see. They create Art.
If your perception matches that of your viewer, you create an emotional connection. That emotional connection touches another human being to their very soul.
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