March 9th, 2009 - Seeing the Forest Through Another's Eye Trees

The phrase "can't see the forest for the trees" is one I like and use often as a naturalist. 
The idea that you are so familiar with something that you can no longer see it for what it is, or what it was when you first looked at it, or just that everyone sees things differently, is a great concept. 
It seems like just about the time you start thinking you've got it down, is the time you need to be knocked on the head and reminded of it again.
In England they say, "You can't see the wood for the trees," and maybe it's even a little more graphic. If someone can't see the wood for the trees, they are unable to understand what is important in a situation because they are giving too much attention to details. For example, perhaps after you've spent many years researching a single topic, you get to a point where you "can't see the wood for the trees" anymore.
The other day I got an envelope in the mail from my dear sister, yes, that's right; "The Coffee Queen," with a Mary Engelbright Post-it (again, we are talking about my sister here) stuck to a black & white photo of the "birch trees with eyes" picture from a post on this blog some time ago.
It read, "dear Tim, Look what your work inspired: 14-year old Olivia from Laura's group (best friend of my sister, who teaches special needs kids) drew the following 2 pieces after studying the 'Birch Eyes' -


Fabulous ?!!"
Well, I should say. I was blown away, and so gratified to have actually inspired someone to do something. Especially something this artistic. That's what it's all about for me nowadays. 
If something I feel strongly enough about to show to the world creates a response, especially a positive one (but I'll take what I can get, sometimes controversy is good) my cycle is complete.
Thanks SO much for sharing, Olivia.
And Laura.
And Bethy.

Olivia's first picture is called, "The Desert at the End of the Earth."  Not what I saw when I looked into a grove of Minnesota trees in the middle of winter. Everyone sees the forest differently. What would the world be if we all saw it the same way? Pretty lame, I would think. That's what we need artists for. And I mean artists in a broad sense, I think an artist is anyone that can show you a part of the world that you didn't realize was there, or make you see or think of the world differently. I think we are all artists for someone, at some time or another.

Olivia's second drawing is untitled, or at least was on the copy I received. I like it as well.
It's got 'flow.'
Thanks again, everyone. Thanks for including me, and letting me post the pictures. 
More of Olivia's work can be found on deviant ART. (I'm working on a direct link, will postthat  ASAP)

I will now go and look at some great classic photography and hopefully shrink my head back down to it's normal, megalomanical size.

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