The adults were sitting around the kitchen table sipping hot coffee and enjoying adult conversation. The older children had all gone to play elsewhere in the house and, being "The Baby" age four, I was left behind.
Recognizing my boredom my Aunt Nora, who was a talented painter, took me aside and gave me a pencil and a sheet of stationery. She suggested that I draw a picture.
"Of what?" I asked.
"Draw a picture of yourself," she said and went on to reassure me that, "of course you know what you look like, just draw."
It seemed to take an eternity too get it finished. Looking at my hands, I tried to draw every digit, thinking of my mouth I drew an ample number of teeth. I even put the orifice in each ear and the iris and pupil in each eye, combs in my hair.
When it was finished Aunt Nora came to take a look. She liked it very much and praised my effort. After telling me that I must always sign my work she then asked, "Why did you give yourself curly hair?"
"Because my hair is curly in the picture!" I said surprised by her question.
In truth my hair is straight as a stick, but Mom had curled it with bobby pins so that I had a head full of ringlets for a formal photographic portrait. That portrait had colored my perception.
Later I would learn from Sidney Larson about the stereotyping effect photography has had on the way we observe. My husband, Milton R. Trice, writing on this subject in his book "Stereo Realism: The Hidden World" states the following:
Here in the West, a dulling down of our senses
has been taking place since the 15th century,
when the discovery of linear perspective became
Our senses were dulled further in the 18th century
with the invention of the modern camera and the
ultimate impact of photography.
These inventions not only changed the way we
thought, but changed our visual perceptions of
the world around us.
He goes on to say that:
As an artist, it is critical that you set aside any
preconceptions or learned expressions that
often result from such visual aids of delineation.
In my experience, the contemporary Artists Book defies the stereotypes of the left hemisphere. Reason accepts the form of the book but goes silent as the imagination takes the artist wherever it wants to go from there. gm-trice