We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.

– Anais Nin

Seeing depends on knowledge
And knowledge, of course, on your college
But when you are erudite and wise
What matters is to use your eyes.
– E H Gombrich

It is perhaps wrong to say that the enemy of enlightenment is logic; rather, it is dualistic, verbal thinking. In fact, it is even more basic than that: it is perception.
– Douglas R. Hofstadter

We do a lot of looking: we look through lenses, telescopes, television tubes…
Our looking is perfected every day, but we see less and less.
Frederick Franck

Frederick Franck: The Zen of Seeing

The Zen of Seeing:
Seeing/Drawing as Meditation

– Frederick Franck

I can’t teach you to be an artist; all I can do is help you learn to see.
– J P Loveless

Any fool can learn how to paint. The trick is to learn how to see.
– Dorothy McCarthy

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something …
To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one.
– John Ruskin

John Ruskin: The Elements of Drawing

The Elements of Drawing
– John Ruskin

Seeing what is actually in front of you, as opposed to what your past experience and thought process indicates is present or others have taught or indoctrinated into you is there, is a rare skill.
– Stewart Bitkoff

If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.
– Pablo Picasso

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
– Marcel Proust

Perhaps we can see best when we’re looking for the least.
– Cyd Madsen

To look at a thing is very different from seeing it.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.
– Oscar Wilde

Perception is an acquired phenomenon.
– E H Gombrich

E H Gombrich: Art and Illusion

Art and Illusion
– E H Gombrich

Clarity, insight or understanding, are only possible when thought is in abeyance, when the mind is still. Then only can you see very clearly, then you can say you have really understood … then you have direct perception, because your mind is no longer confused.
J Krishnamurti

It is impossible to do a thing the way I see it because the closer I get the more differently I see.
– Alberto Giacometti

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.
– Edgar Degas

The only real experiences in life [are] those lived with a virgin sensibility – so that we only hear a tone once, only see a color once, see, hear, touch, taste and smell everything but once, the first time. All life is but an echo of our first sensations, and we build up our consciousness, our whole mental life by variations and combinations of these elementary sensations.
– Herbert Read

Herbert Read: The Innocent Eye

The Innocent Eye
– Herbert Read

Our art tends to be more real when we concentrate on what we actually see with our eyes and with our instincts. It becomes difficult and cumbersome when we are busy trying to figure out what we’re supposed to be seeing.
– Lyn Asselta

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
– Henry David Thoreau

If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.
– G. K. Chesterton

The hardest thing to see is what is in front of our eyes.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An individual’s ability to draw is … the ability to shift to a different-from-ordinary way of processing visual information – to shift from verbal, analytic processing to spatial, global processing.
– Betty Edwards

Betty Edwards: Drawing on the Artist Within

Drawing on the Artist Within
– Betty Edwards

The perception of beauty is a moral test.
– Henry David Thoreau

What is seen by the eye is transformed and colored by the vision of the mind.
– Robert Wade

Only in quiet waters do things mirror themselves undistorted. Only in a quiet mind is adequate perception of the world.
– Hans Margolius

A mediocre man copying nature will never produce a work of art, because he really looks without seeing, and though he may have noted each detail minutely, the result will be flat and without character… the artist on the contrary, sees; that is to say, his eye, grafted on his heart, reads deeply into the bosom of nature.
– Auguste Rodin

The archaic Greeks … used the same word for “eye” and “light”.
– Leonard Shlain

If you learn something too well, it will get in the way of your perception of reality.
– Darby Bannard

To glance with an eye or show a bean in its pod confounds the learning of all times.
– Walt Whitman

To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.
– Paul Valery

The mind stands in the way of the eye.
– Arthur Stern

That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe.
– John Berger

John Berger: Ways of Seeing

Ways of Seeing
– John Berger

No one questions the fact that verbal language has to be learned, but the commonplaceness of visual experience betrays art; people tend to assume that, because they can see, they can see art.
– Anne Truitt

There is more to seeing than meets the eyeball.
– N R Hanson

How wonderful it is when that moment of true seeing comes and I’m transported to that point when eyes, hand and mind work as the child in all of us.
– Alan Feltus

Look with innocent eyes, very open. That innocence is always there. It’s a sense of wonder.
– Adyashanti

Opting for one perception eliminates all others.
– Simone Bingemer

The thing known and the thing seen are not the same.
– Harriet Shorr

Perception is strong and sight weak.
– Miyamoto Musashi

I have taught my students not to apply rules or mechanical ways of seeing.
– Josef Albers

A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.
– William Blake

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.
– Paul Klee

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