Learn from Michelle

Context Informs Interpretation

Man with pipe
“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” – Leonardo da Vinci
The brush and the pen almost go hand in hand. One grand commonality is interpretation.
We can look at the same painting or read the same poem and come up with completely different interpretations of their meanings. Why is that?
Well, the context has a lot to do with it. Even if you grow up in the same household, you have different thoughts, different personalities, different stories, different memories, and different experiences. These play into our interpretations.
For instance, when you look at the man with the pipe, what do you see? Do you see an angry man prepared to chastize and disapprove, or do you see a pensive man analyzing what's in front of him? Or maybe something else entirely?
Each person's interpretation will fall back on their previous experiences and lessons learned. In psychology, this is called a schema. It is how we categorize and interpret the world around us, and guess what? No one has exactly the same one!
So, whether you are experiencing a painting through sight or a poem through words, try to think of the context of the creator because it is their background, their experiences, and their schema imbued into the final work.
Hand-painted in Adobe Photoshop CC using the Wacom Intuos Pro and the Wacom Art Pen.
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