The display of works in the recent exhibit of John Singer Sargent watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was a delight to the eye.

Sargent-Villa di Marlia, Lucca A Fountain-1910 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Hayden CollectionThe basic outlines and forms are filled with transparent washes that create a sense of fluidity, joy, and connection to what he saw as he painted. As you study these paintings, you realize they represent a new way of looking and seeing. There is freedom in seeing with this level of perception and awareness.

The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.
~ Marcel Proust

Visual and performing artists use this kind of seeing nearly every day to experience things in new ways. In our own everyday lives, we can also use this skill to change what’s possible by changing the way we see or hear things as well. While the basic picture may not change, your entire understanding and feeling of an experience might be completely transformed depending on how you interpret the lines, light, spaces, and shadows. It can be as life changing and freeing as Sargent’s watercolors were for his time.

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