Contrast is an important part of any intriguing work of art.Creating depth and value, contrast is what the eye recognizes as dimension. New Dimensions is the theme for my December show in Beaver Creek. The inspiration for the show is to create a new experience, which may open our minds to possibilities that perhaps were not seen before. By seeing new possibilities, we can then challenge reality, or the way we think things are. With all the chaos in the world today, reality could use another possibility. So why not transfer this idea from art to the “real world”? Nothing to lose… maybe a few people roll their eyes, but even that means they are considering it. What if a new dimension or new reality could be created simply by looking at things differently? I do it every time I paint and I have been putting this practice to the test in my “real life” as well.
I chose contrast for this month’s palette because it seems to be the root of a lot of problems personally and globally. Contrast is just an artistic term for difference or opposing. Colors that contrast make each other pop or stand out more. Light and shadow create contrast as well. Personal differences create contrast. Contrast escalates as the spectrum broadens. So, on a global scale, contrast is huge. In art, our eyes take notice of contrast first. It is how we register a shape or line. In life, contrast seems to be how we register ourselves. We compare and contrast our realities to find our unique place, as we might look at a painting and find something to see or relate to. It seems to me, we are always looking for belonging or some kind of affirmation that each moment belongs in the bigger picture. Although when the picture does not seem to be what we thought it would look like, we are disappointed or confused…and most likely it is because we forgot about contrast. I have been catching myself in this a lot lately, with everything from vanity, to romance, to the world news. There needs to be contrast in every masterpiece though. Or “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction” (Newton). Or the brighter the light, the darker the shadow… There are many ways to say it, yet I have found myself rejecting contrast in “real life” and celebrating it in my paintings! Accepting contrast is a start. Knowing it exists in all aspects of life for a reason seems to help me. Also, I dare to take it one step further… If I can remember to use contrast to highlight beauty, as I do when I paint, life takes on a slightly different perspective. The contrast still exists, although the focus is my choice. There is something very empowering about having this option because contrast becomes a tool and something I can use to create a new perspective.
I choose to create a beautiful reality by accepting all the darkness, violence and nonsense that exists and using it to highlight and strengthen the opposite. The light, peaceful, clarity that resides within me has just risen to the occasion to create balance and a focus. This masterpiece will be my New Dimension.