Brain Food #656

Focus on the parts that make up the whole

Thoughts of the day

Looking at an abstract painting has often been described as an immersive experience. Of abstract artists, the most famous perhaps remains Mark Rothko, who completed a total of 836 works in his life.

Rothko's aim was to remove "obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer". That's why he asked viewers to stand as close as 18 inches away from his canvases. He said that "large pictures are like dramas in which one participates in a direct way." 

If something doesn’t make much sense, perhaps we need to shift our perspective, or take a step closer, to focus on the parts that make up the whole. This method could be used in how we attempt to solve a tricky problem, or tackle a creative block. The word, not the sentence. The petal, not the flower. The character, not the story.

Or, it could simply be a reminder that, sometimes, we just need to pause and look at what is in front of us to truly appreciate it.

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