Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sight and Insight

Working with young people (boy do I feel old when I say that) frequently makes me stop to think about the difference between seeing and understanding. I just read an artist's blog who talked about the ability to see in order to be able to draw.

I believe that artists see differently than I do. They see shape and colour, texture and proportion. They see bits and pieces but they also see wholes.

I see 'things' The forest for the trees or vice versa - can my kind of seeing ever be changed into insight or understanding. I try

Students on the other hand are an interesting and diverse lot. They are certainly not all alike but they do fall into categories when it comes to sight and insight.

Some of the see everything and understand just as much - the wunderkind of students. I have encountered a few of these people and am always curious about how their minds work. How did they figure that out so fast? How did they see that relationship - when it wasn't apparent to me?

Some don't see nor do they understand. And this group has a few subcategories - those that can't see and will never understand - those that won't see and who think they understand - and gratefully those that can be taught to see and who eventually understand - the perfect student - receptive and responsive.

Then there is the unique group who don't really see but understand anyway - the intuitors. Probably the most difficult to teach because the question really is whether they need to see if they already understand.

Sight and insight - from an artist's perspective, from a teacher's perspective and from a student's perspective.

regardless of category - it takes effort to have sight and it takes even more effort to have insight