Practising Reflection

Fearless Reflection
Fearless Reflection by Sandy Brown Jensen

I thought I’d have a wee go at Mariana’s Art on the Couch process.

Mariana is carrying out the project to learn about critiquing art, and:

Critique is often most instructive for the person offering it. In looking at other people’s work, and formulating your opinion of it, you’re learning a great deal.

Mariana is committing to do one per week, I think I might try one a month, so this is November’s.

Anyway here goes, following Mariana’s questions.

1. What stands out the most when you first see it?
My eye is drawn first to the central figure. The first thing that stands out is is the watercolour effect and overall warm colours.

2. Explain the reason you notice the thing you mention in number 1.
The unexpected blur on a mirror is disconcerting or makes me think. I expect sharpness from a mirror. The gaze of the figure seems to be going past my left shoulder.

3. As you keep looking, what else seems important?
I go next to the brown vertical on the left.

My eye then roams around the other objects on the wall surrounding the mirror finishing on the chair.

4. Why does the thing you mention in number 3 seem important.
This vertical gives the image depth, along with the chair back. They give me the feeling that I am looking across the room diagonally to the mirror.

5. How has contrast been used?
The figure in the mirror and the mirror frame push the figure inside the mirror, this pulls me into the frame and to the figure eyes.

6. What leads your eye around from place to place?
The green, white & red curtains, then the brown right left hand vertical, some sort of hanging brown object on the top left wall give great depth, the mirror frame more giving a feeling of looking in on the figure who is looking out.

The face mask on the right of the mirror seems to be floating off the wall. I wonder if it’s eyes are closed.

7. What tells you about the style used by this artist?
The water colour effect brings a dreamy informality to the picture. A romantic view.

8. What seems to be hiding in this composition and why?
Is the figure being slightly reserved, not meeting the viewer’s eyes?

For all her casualness her gaze is serious.

9. Imagine the feelings and meanings this artwork represents?
Although the figure looks pensive the colours are relaxed, calm and contemplative.

10. What other titles could you give this artwork?
Deep in quiet thought.

11. What other things interest you about this artwork?
I wonder about the note, or sheet of paper at the bottom left of the mirror. What is on it, sheet music? Is it jammed by the chair.

4 thoughts on “Practising Reflection”

  1. John,
    This is a most excellent practice! I am an arts reviewer on our local public radio statio (Viz City on, so this method is very much what I bring to each gallery I visit.

    I’ve never had anyone consider anything I do as worth thinking deeply about before, so this was very intriguing to me. I took a picture of the note tucked in the mirror for you, but something about this space won’t allow me to paste. I put a tdc1036 tag on it, so it should appear in the Daily Create.
    Thank you for this thoughtful post! I see you and I are both taking daily runs at the tdc’s!

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