Yesterday, I went to the MC Escher exhibit in Portland.
Seeing his work in the gallery is completely different from seeing it online. I got to see his process and growth, not just the finished pieces and the finest crop of his life. His earlier work consists of sketches of the city, but they weren't spectacular...Could have been any artists' sketches. He was still developing his art style. Signs of his interest in accurate perspective and sharp awareness of patterns were apparent. It's usually a long road of studying before you hone in on what you're best at.
Once Escher embraced his passion for depicting space, his work became striking, iconic, and innovative. His work was no longer the generic landscape. It reminds me that part of an artist and writer's journey is to focus on what his/her calling is.
This was generated by hand--carved on wood in mathematical accuracy. (No computer.)
He tried to do what seemed impossible. Depict infinity. (This was also carved on wood, by hand.) Again, it's hard to see the baffling craziness of the piece online...It's more amazing when you see the ink and actual wood-block:
I got a poster of this. He shifts the perspective and thinks outside of the box:
After staring at his work for at least an hour, I went outside. For a few minutes, when I looked at the city, I could also see patterns acutely--like I saw from his eyes for a bit. Soon, it faded, and I was back to seeing the world as a blob.