Dear Friends,

Art is often thought of as a painting or sculpture in a museum. And while this is true, it is only partially so. We tend to overlook things of beauty that surround us in our daily lives. A spider web, the bark of a tree, the surface of a rock. And beauty is not only found in nature, look closely at a screw imbedded in a piece of rusty steel, a broken windowpane, the bristles of a hardened paint brush, a segment of colorful graffiti on a concrete wall, which, by the way, tells us that art and beauty are in the eyes of the beholder and may not be considered “beautiful”.

In order to heighten one’s sense of looking and seeing try cutting a square window, about 15 cm, into a piece of sturdy paper and look through it. Hold it close or at arm’s length and look at all kinds of things around you.

You’ll be surprised how different the same object will look when viewed through the frame held up close or from a distance.

Look close up at the surface of the sidewalk, a piece of sandpaper, a weathered piece of wood

Or look at the leaves of a tree or bush.

Have you ever noticed how many shapes and sizes and colors leaves have?

Look up at a cloud. Let it drift by or move along with it.

What you see is a strange and beautiful world which you may not have been aware of.

By framing an image that way and isolating it from its usual surrounding it often takes on a different quality or meaning.

By now you understand what I am trying to express. There are so many things to look at and see differently from what we are used to.

In a museum, I like to look closely at a large masterpiece and study a very small area of brush strokes.

I am fascinated by the small world of brush strokes isolated from the painting itself. Try it sometime and you too will be amazed.

Eric Carle