chapter  2
7 Pages

Being separate and being together

Instead of trying to puzzle out the meaning of the free drawings I went on trying to study the painter’s task from books. Up to now I had assumed that all the painter’s practical problems to do with representing distance, solidity, the grouping of objects, differences of light and shade and so on were matters for common sense, combined with careful study. But when I tried to begin such careful study there seemed some unknown force interfering. Of course I was already familiar with the idea that one’s common sense mind is not all there is, and that when it is difficult to do something that the common sense mind says is straightforward and should be done, then one must expect the imaginative mind to have quite other views on the matter. But I had not up to now thought of applying this to painting. When I did, it was clear that the imaginative mind could have strong private views of its own on the meanings of light, distance, darkness and so on. For instance, I began to find that it had some very definite ideas of its own about the subject of perspective and that these ideas were in fact being illustrated in some of the drawings.