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Seeing Differently When on Vacation

By Michelle Binkley

This week we are visiting Michael’s parents in Longview, Alberta – a place of big sky nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. An hour SW of Calgary, we come prepared for a relaxing “tools down” holiday, complete with books, sketchbooks & pencils and more books.

Whenever we are here, we marvel at how much the sky and the changing light is a noticeable energy and daily force in what our eyes see. I suppose it is similar to what we see daily at our home in Vancouver – the ocean shifting throughout the day and causing endless ripples and an exchange of light.

If we lived here, would we notice the sky as much as through the eyes of visitors?

I asked our brother-in-law, Gaile Gallup, who was born and raised here if he notices the sky every day. Gaile says he sees the sky as weather – in this part of the world, where everything depends on the weather, the sky is just that – an indicator of what each day will provide. As ranchers and agriculturists they use the sky to predict chinooks, wind, rain, heat and how it will reflect on the daily activities of crops, livestock, and necessary duties.

So then I asked Gaile if he notices the ocean on the coast when they come to visit us? He thought briefly and replied that he didn’t think so, but could guess if he were say, a fisherman on the west coast that the ocean would be his weather gauge. When he holidays in Vancouver from Alberta, he sees with different eyes.

How do our physical surroundings effect our seeing eyes? When we are on holiday our eyes see differently, so what can we do at home to start seeing differently? For artists it is important to keep looking and seeing with new perspectives.

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