I love antique equipment as well. An old tractor, WWII fighter plane, or a 150 year old, cast iron fruit press. These old items, they required as much design, but the tools were much cruder. If you have a discerning eye, you may even see the hand of the creator at work. A stray chisel mark in the mold, a mistake that is replicated a thousand times casting after casting after casting. They may even be so bold as to sign their work. Astounding!
Engineering is art.
How about appreciating actual art? That's more of a trick for me. I understand machines. I have studied and explored machines my entire life. A painting? I have a lack of understanding that keeps me from appreciating it fully.
A friend invited me to a "Gay Pride" themed Comic Book exhibit in S.F. today. Didn't expect me to come but I'm a different person, getting out and in touch with people is now a major priority.
Now, this wasn't a stack of comic books at some shop, these were original works, the actual masters (don't know the proper term) that lead to the prints we see in the comic shop or even in the news paper.
Cartoon Art Museum in SF.
Comics had always been something I enjoyed, but I couldn't really appreciate them. You pick up the paper, you grab a comic off the shelf, you see pretty pictures and text bubbles.
When presented with the master, the pretty picture disappears. The solid colors are removed. The dithering is no longer just a spattering of dots. The lines are no longer a perfect black mark on paper.
Instead the colors are water paints. The dithering is a sheet of dots, painstakingly cut to fit in the lines. The solid lines, millions of pen strokes. There are countless other techniques as well. I can't even begin to understand them.
But now I have SEEN them. I have seen the pen strokes, the whiteout, the light blue pencil the formed the original drawing.
I saw it. I saw the whys and the hows. It clicked.
I now have a dangerously expensive fascination for this art form.
I'd write more and with greater care, but I am tired and must run to school in 6 hours.