breaking down the layers

the_old_guitarist-picasso1

Whether it’s a project in photo shop , a writing project or something in “real life,” thinking in layers is complicated. Some days, I like when things are simple; put it in front of me, in black and white, and I’m satisfied.

Layers, though complex, are intriguing. I have to tear up a photo’s composition in my head to imitate it. I have to peel through the chapters of a novel to figure out what the writer wanted to accomplish.  Often there are so many layers that we miss most of them when we take for granted what is right in front of us.

I love that layers make something look good but we have to dig deeper to find out why. The “digging deeper” part is a learning experience in itself. It’s hard work but the writers and photographers who created those works of art put in a lot of layers to add depth and make their work stand out. The more I write and create, I realize that even the simplest looking projects have layers upon layers of thoughts and ideas throughout the process—even if they aren’t visible, they exist.

When you create a “layer,” you add substance to an otherwise flat project. You can mask parts of layers, revealing hints and clues but hiding other sections that  entice your reader or viewer to want to know more. What is peaking out behind that tree in your photograph? What clue did you hide in the way your character makes quick decisions?

This week my goal is to do the research—to add depth to the projects I’m working on. It’ll happen in small steps, but I’ll do it. That’s the great thing about layers—you can take your time to give your project dimension.  Do you have any favorite works of art (photography, writing, etc) that you love because you didn’t realize its complexity on your first glance?

I love the painting of Picasso’s Old Guitarist. It seems like it is a painting of a man with his guitar but so much more is hidden underneath the painting.  Here is some information regarding the “layers” that intrigued me when I learned about this work of art.

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