Love of Contrast
Our lives are defined by contrasts: light and dark, summer and winter, happy and sad – even our religions and many movies are organized around the concept of the opposites forces of good and evil.
Contrasts are important to utilize in painting to create energy and intrigue. For light to really shine in a painting, it needs to be surrounded by darker areas. Texture shows up dramatically against a smooth surface and a colour brightens when amongst neutral tones. I aim to have areas of black as well as white in my work. One of my favorite sights is sunlit trees against very black clouds.
Having contrasts in our life makes us more awake and feel things stronger, to me they give life meaning, depth and clarity. Sickness gives new meaning to health, sunshine is more glorious after a month of snow. Classical music changes from loud to soft in same piece to reflect the movement of our emotions.
I think an exercise would be to start noticing how contrasts appear in art as well as in life (cooking, relationships) and appreciate it as a flavourful and sought after spice in our life.
Quote: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck
Above image: Hidden Valley, acrylic on canvas, 12″ x 36″; with contrast of black burnt trees and white rocks