Sunday, March 25, 2012

"How can you teach people who are not observant to notice and see the things nature and life provide?  First you must explain how to look and see, listen and hear not only what is bad but above all what is beautiful.  The beautiful elevates the soul and stirs its finest feelings, leaving indelible, deep tracks in emotion and other kinds of memory.  The most beautiful thing of all is nature herself.  Observe her as closely as possible.  For a start, take a flower, or a leaf, or a cobweb, or the pattern the frost makes on a window pane and so on.  All these are works of the Supreme Artist, Nature.  Try to define verbally what pleases you about them.  That will focus your attention more firmly on the object you are observing, make you relate to it more consciously, so you appreciate it and investigate its essence more profoundly.  Don't be squeamish about the dark side of nature.  And don't forget either there are positive things hidden among negative phenomena, that there is an element of beauty in what is most ugly, just as the beautiful contains things which are not beautiful.  But truly beautiful does not fear what is ugly.  Very often, the latter only serves to set off the beauty of the former.

Seek out both, define them verbally, know them and be able to see them.  If you don't, your concept of beauty will become one-sided, cloying, prettified, sentimental and that is a great danger for art."

--An Actor's Work, K. Stanislavski