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Don’t Make Me Think! by Lorena Bowser

Don’t Make Me Think!
by Lorena Bowser

The Great Sense that people rely on today is no longer “common sense.” It is the sense of sight. Thinking is “out.” Visual stimuli is “in.”

Audio is often only appreciated if accompanied by Visual. …and Visual must be graphic or people don’t get it! This means that sitting on the porch in the dark on a Summer evening listening to Grandma tell stories of her youth is not appreciated as it once was. Words from the pages of a book don’t grab us. On a multi-colored website, sometimes flashing their message on and off in our faces, words find credibility, but is anyone sitting down for a couple of hours to read a good book anymore? Not many. Even the sense of taste has succumbed to the visual contribution of our favorite T.V. chef who teaches us that taste is enhanced by appearance, that food tastes better when it is “beautiful.”

Well, as an artist, I can appreciate this last statement, but I certainly don’t believe it is a general truth. A blind person will appreciate a savory meal as much as one who can see what he’s eating.

So if visual is “in,” we artists should be sitting pretty. Can we not put together a “delicious feast” for the eyes with a beautiful work of art? Can we not make a statement as effectively as a great documentary on PBS, or warm someone’s heart as easily as that video of a litter of puppies on YouTube? Sure we can. Is everyone running anxiously to check out our latest creation every morning with the first cup of coffee? No they’re not!

The Internet, TV and video games have taken the place of family get-togethers. We know by now that watching T.V. is an escape. Scientists have discovered that our brain cells are “least active” while we are watching T.V. After working (or the frustration of seeking work), we can forget the troubles of the day and wash our brain out by sitting a couple of hours in front of the Tube. It’s amusing, but it takes no thinking. Studies concerning the most effective website building have concluded that people browsing a website should be able to use it without expending any effort at all thinking about it – in other words, a good website is a “no-brainer.” Therefore (if I may be permitted to conclude something here) if our paintings are not selling like hotcakes, we are putting too much into them. We must stop trying to communicate through an elaborate abstract, or putting our heart and soul into an impressive landscape or portrait. We must create artwork that when seen evokes from the viewer a firmly expressed “duuuh.”

Or…bring back Common Sense!

Lorena Bowser is a lifetime artist and linguist. She has lived all over the world and really knows how to make the pennies scream. Enjoy more of Lorena's resourcefulness at her website and blog: at http://lorenasartandprose.blogspot.com

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