Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lost and Found

There is often discussion in painting about "lost and found" edges... But in today's posting, I am thinking about lost and found colors.. Here's an element of painting with a range of possibilities. Set the sensitivity dial to HIGH and every object becomes a kaleidoscope of colors: wam highlights, cool shadows, neutral "local" color, reflected lights. Can we "lose" the object? Yep...in an exaggeration of color, cohesiveness is lost. But this is more likely due to colors that don't make sense (the wrong temperature or value), rather than a mere abundance of color.

Unless one is looking directly at the sun (not recommended) or artificial light, then all the light that enters our eyes has been modified during its journey. I love thinking about how natural light has made that journey all the way from a sun, through space, then the atmosphere and maybe bounced around a number of times, before finally it has its moment on the retina. That means automatically that the light we are seeing is in a spectrum of colors. Only in more extreme, limited lighting situations (night for example) do things become uniform as color possibilities become lost.

As far as our brains are concerned, color does not seem to be the main thing that defines an object. Black and white pictures work. So, set the sensitivity dial to LOW and get black and white, or monochrome (something else and white) or "cut out" collage-like paintings where each object is rendered as one color..Can we "lose" the object here? Yes, there are situations where color might be the only contrast available to distinguish between objects. That's why "green" means "go", after all. And why red is the go-to color for the stand-out dress.

Happily, we are talking about ART here and ART is almost always a positive force in the universe. Pretty sure that art can save lives but not likely to hurt.anybody.  So...take two helpings of color in whatever dose level you like. Sometimes a little goes a long way, sometimes more is more. Enjoy...it's like treasure, only free. Aloha!

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