|via Life in Style|
Friends, I have a new car and it practically drives itself, it is so fancy. (OK, compared to what I'm used to driving anyway!) Now, I'm not going to lie. On the way home from the dealership, I may have called my husband via bluetooth while he was sitting next to me, just because I could. I may also possibly have mentioned during said car ride that the seat warmers were my new reason for living. Later though, as I pulled up in front of the studio and realized that I neither had to turn off the lights, nor remove a car key form the ignition (automatic! keyless!), I couldn't help think guiltily of Mathew Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft.
I've mentioned this fantastic book before, so I won't lecture now, but suffice it to say that Crawford is an advocate for hands on experience as the basis for knowledge. In practical terms this means that if we get used to our cars beeping as we back up, we eventually learn to turn off that part of our brain that assesses the distance between our bumper and the other car's. What's the big deal you ask?
We already know that reliance on GPS for navigation tends to decrease our geospatial abilities, and social media is shortening our attention spans. So what? Standing up straight is hard work, and slouching is so much easier, right? Wrong. It's only easier until you realize that you have chronic back pain and a hunchback from a lifetime of failing to put those posture muscles to work...which brings me to my new studio practice.
I've decided to spend a couple hours every week looking only at my subject and not at my canvas while I'm painting. We all have ideas about the way things "should" look, and sometimes those notions preclude us from noticing how they actually look. These visual shortcuts become the crutches we lean on to avoid the hassle of really seeing what's in front of us. So I'm kicking the slouch out of my artistic practice, and putting my seeing muscles back to work. Wish me luck!