NO to perspective and NO to straightness!

A travel sketch in watercolour again… a village called Sarrion, somewhere between Teruel and Valencia (Spain). And don’t think twice: if the house edges are not straight and some houses dance in all directions and the perspective has lost its laws, it is not me lacking in drawing ability!

Although, to be honest, I have still a lot to learn until I am really able to render homage to all these beautiful villages we have here in Spain…

But in fact, an exaggerated knowledge of industrial drawing, so precise in straight lines and perspective, would damage the soul of these villages. I have had students, engineers and architects, all equipped with a solid education in drawing and perfectly able to draw complicated monuments like the Eiffel Tower or The Guggenheim Museum, but when they tried to draw Spanish villages, they totally failed. They didn’t see what made them so special, exactly the deviation from the straight lines and perfection of the perspective. Or even if they saw them, their hands were so trained to draw straight lines and right angles and slopes that they couldn’t get free.

And this was exactly the reason why they came to me: to learn to forget everything they knew about drawing! Which normally takes much more time than to learn what you don’t know.

This is true in many fields of life… There as a famous golfer, for example -and yes, I am myself a passionate golfer!- he could hit the ball very very far, too far indeed! Each deviation from the perfect hit had lethal repercussions at the end of the ball trajectory. He had to retire from the international golf scene for years, only to learn to hit the ball less far!

Read more about our trip in Cafe Crem:

In Camera in Absentis, Part 1

In Camera in Absentis, Part 2

In Camera in Absentis, Part 3

In Camera in Absentis, Part 4


18 Responses to “NO to perspective and NO to straightness!”

  1. iondanu Says:

    I also have most problems with pupils who know already to “draw” and I am a sworn enemy of straight lines (de la ligne drette, comme disent les quebecois)! I already mentionned, I think, that Hogarth (and others) conceived the curve as the essence of beauty… Straight line is an engineer and architect thing, not an artist one!

    I was wondering how you do that beautiful “rain” of white drops, on the right of your watercolor? do you drop gomme reserve? because it’s really something! I wish I could try my skill on some Spanish villages one day…

  2. Miki Says:

    Bonjour Danu!
    La pluie de gouttes blanches? Pour commencer je suppose que tu parles de la pluie du cote gauche?
    Le mieux est d’ attendre que l’ aquarelle soit sèche. Ensuite tu trempes un pinceau (plus ou moins fin, suivant la grosseur des gouttes désirée) dans de la gouache blanche ni trop liquide ni trop solide et tu secoues le pinceau sur la partie ou tu veux faire tomber ta pluie. Je ne sais pas trop comment décrire le mouvement, mais secoue, accoups par accoups, et plus ou moins fort suivant l’ effet que tu veux atteindre. Essaye, et si cela ne marche pas, demande-moi plus concrètement, ok? Mais en fait c’ est TRÈS facile.
    Je n’ utilise jamais de gommes ou autres matériaux additifs, je n’ en ai pas la patience, et en plus je trouve que cela devient trop technique. Cela perd beaucoup de magie pour moi. J’ adore la simplicité et facilite du papier, de l’ eau, du pinceau et j’ essaye toujours d’ atteindre mes buts avec çà.

  3. kevmoore Says:

    I think calling this beautiful explosion of colours a travel sketch does it a disservice. It illustrates EXACTLY your point about veering from the straight, the defined. If the devil is in the details, then the beauty, the soul, is in one’s peripheral vision, in the blurred, the almost unseen and the merely hinted at. Clues and signposts so one’s mind works to assemble the beauty. So much better than to be presented with una cuadro exactamente! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

  4. Tomas Says:

    Thank you. Your watercolors wash the window of my eyesight – helps rejoice over the dance of the sunbeam that edits our understanding of the strict laws, which bind our hearts and make people blind – you are the healer. Thank you, child of the light.

  5. givethemhell Says:

    Bonsoir Miki,

    elles sont belles, tes nuances de bleu, un joli village espagnol.

  6. Susan Says:

    I see what you mean about Spanish building geometry – it’s far more organic than modern buildings. Or maybe this is modern Spanish organics. in any case it takes a Miki painter to capture the magic of these places. I think you’re having an effect on my own sketching – I’m absorbing a bit o fyour looseness. I can picture you flinging the paint. You must have color speckels all over our clothes!

  7. Bonny Says:

    Absolutely stunning!!! Miki, I’ve been following the journey with you and Kev and have enjoyed every minute reading about it. The only thing better would be if it were possible to actually travel with you 😉

    Your watercolours amaze me!! Truly, they are very ‘organic’ and are perfect illustrations of the villages and by-ways you have travelled through. Kev is right, they are EXACTLY perfect!!!

    Been busy catching up with things and getting ready for our next trip to Switzerland and Italy. We just came back in March and if you want to read about it, there are a couple of posts and an album on my primary Blog at: Bonnys

    I’d be delighted if you stopped by for a visit, at least ‘virtually’!

    Bon Voyage a tous!


  8. Susan Cornelis Says:

    Thought I’d share the comment on my blog about the link to yours:
    “Followed the link to Miki’s site, “WOW!”, her art, like yours is loose and full of color!” – Tami

    See, we are rubbing off on each other!! When you see me painting blue trees you’ll know I’ve arrived in Miki-land!

  9. helenl Says:

    Hi Miki, As you know I’m not a visual artist, but I do love visual art. In fact watercolor is one of my favorite mediums. It seems so versatile. I like you explanation of how we must learn to forget the precise.

    The bold colors you have chosen for the trees and the sky and the roofs invite me to be more than an observer of your art but to participate with you in a place that is documented but not interpreted for me. You have captured the scene but invited me to create with you. Your colors explode around these buildings built at odd angles. Your tree on the left looks as though a horse is jumping through it, and the trees themselves look effervescent. You have invited me to a quaint village and made me long to return to a place I have never been. You have located the spiritual within the ordinary.

  10. Miki’s Spanish Village « Windows Toward the World Says:

    […] When a poem explodes from a piece of visual art, the process is know as ekphrasis. See the beautiful watercolor that inspired this poem on Miki’s site. […]

  11. Miki Says:

    I have written in your blog how happy and proud you made me with your poem. Thank you so much again!

    Great that Tami visited my blog and wrote these wonderful words about my art!
    Concerning the blue trees… there was a time where I hated the colour green, and as I always loved to paint landscapes, you can imagine which problems i got with the trees, the hills, the grass… So I started to paint them in all colours except green, starting with blue which appeared to me as the closest colour to green. But even blue was not my favourite colour, in fact I always avoided “cold” colours…
    I have changed a little bit and seem to discover the cold colours now, but still trying to make them appear warm somehow!

    Merci, Eva! Si tu lis mon dernier commentaire pour Susan, tu verras que le bleu est assez nouveau dans mes tableaux. Je suis très heureuse que mes nouvelles nuances de bleu te plaisent.

    What a pleasure to see you around again! Thanks for your lovely words and yes, I think we should change our boomobil against a much bigger one and go for an artistic trip with the whole Cafe Crem team!
    As I see you travel as much as we do! We will soon start travelling again, first to south of Spain in some days, and from there up to Portugal, for 2 months! I want to go everythere there and paint and sketch everything!

  12. masoomeh Says:

    send to email painting

  13. Kaleidoscope World « Windows Toward the World Says:

    […] Miki’s Spanish Village/No to Perspective and No to Straightness! […]

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