I am enjoying playing with colour at the moment but I added a new challenge of using light. In this painting I explored a yearning that I have had: to paint light coming from behind the flowers from a light source, such as a window.
I have never tried it before. I reminded myself that this image didn’t have to be perfect, that I was allowed to play and experiment and that it was fine if I decided that it was only a step towards something else. I invited the editor-voice of kindness and encouragement to offer her input. This is something I am learning to do more and more.
The internal process:
As I create the image I allow my heart to instruct my internal process. While busy with my creative process I thought about what I learnt at school in art history about chiaroscuro. (It is an Italian word meaning light-dark and is the use of light and dark in bold contrasts to form objects to look three-dimensional). It is often used when referring to renaissance paintings. As artists we usually use this technique to form shapes, highlights, and shadows. In these close ups below, the dark and light colours are not black and white, but are made up by using cool dark purple and warm reds or pink colours to shape the lilac flowers.
I am not trying to equate myself with the Masters of art in the Renaissance but merely noting the similar use of shadows. Quickly, I shifted my mind to thinking a little more intentionally about the use of light as a symbol of the light in my life. In yesterday’s poem that I shared, the lines: “small flecks of light come flickering in, I loved it’s warmth” ….“then one day a shaft of light found its way into my night; this ray of hope it made me bold and curious…” express in words how I value light. I equate it with warmth, hope, courage and nurture.
As I explored and experimented with colour and light in this painting I slid into a quiet reverie, lost in time and space, a marvelous place to be; as someone last week mentioned, like a meditation. It was possibly also a little different to a meditation this time in that I challenged myself to extend my ability to portray back-lighting; a technique not yet mastered; this is when I invite the editor-voice of kindness.
Some other thoughts.
I feel uncomfortable analyzing other people’s paintings (or dreams) as I think that symbols can have very unique and personal meanings. Yet it is true that there are universal symbols that many of us might relate to. When I studied psychology and more specifically Communication through Art we explored the use of symbolic meaning.
Here I will mention one idea (although there are many more even in this image) and that is: the left side of the painting could be symbolic of the past and the right is symbolic of the future; or it could also symbolize unconscious and conscious but if you are really interested in this sort of thing I would encourage you to research it yourself as I think that as you search you will be guided into your own personal meaning; what you find is what you need.
For those of you who are interested my observation of the image:
the left is darker and the rust curtain contains most of the flowers within the vertical line; so it has straight lines cutting through the image, creating a more static, all-over, organized, geometric design,
while the right feels unrestricted, light and more organic e.g., the organic shapes of the delicate white flowers blurring into the background and the chair’s backrest creates roundness; although there are straight lines as well, they seem to create a base for the image. It resonates with me that the right side is light, airy and free while the left side is darker, more organized and rigid.
So what does this express? Who knows? It could mean different things for each viewer and for the artist. Does the image express hope for the future? Does it express my faith that life will be good in the end?
What would it be like to explore the concept of constraint or restriction verses expansive or liberation? I am positively sure there are many meanings, one for each of viewer. What do you see? What do you think about this?
How does your culture inform your thinking? I would genuinely be interested to know your thoughts.
I hope this post has been thought provoking.
Take care, till next time.