Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Life of Contrast

It's been a few months that this post has been brooding in my head. I've finally realized that the quest for contrast is what I constantly look for in life - things lacking hard edges simply don't interest me.

I recently came back from an Antique art fair, where tons of soft 18th-19th century paintings graced red felt walls of many booths. I was so incredibly bored with them. They didn't have the punch of hard lines or complimentary colors juxtaposed next to each other, no delineated lights and darks. I couldn't sink into these paintings, couldn't dissolve.

William Guy Wall, Silver Cascade

I also incidentally spent a few days with an atmospheric abstract painter, and what I thought was always lacking in her work - a grounding of sorts - she noticed was overly prevalent in mine. She hated my rendering of trees for instance - saying they create a grid which interrupts the flow of the painting....After that critique I attempted to do without my typical hard branches and all I see is mud and chaos.

I guess we each seek and value key features of our personalities in our works and the works of others. It's never the opposites attract phenomenon. OCD'd like myself find order amidst chaos. A Buddhist finds a calm meditative space.

But then...I used to love radical people - those with a strong personality and unwavering opinions. Maybe it's because I'm too mainstream and blah? But now I see that these people are simply not tuned in to the world around them, they don't see shades of grey, don't see any nuances in human relationships. And I get to thinking that perhaps that is what's supposed to happen to my art - more nuances and less expression? That is what growing into your own means?