Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Are You Afraid of the Dark?


The value of darkness

"Value refers to the use of light and dark, shade and highlight, in an artwork."

Wikipedia, Elements of Art

One of the most difficult hurdles for a student of drawing and watercolor is to conquer their fear of committing strokes of dark value on the page. Sometimes, even when a bold stroke of dark value is finally made, the student will start erasing or trying to water the color down completely reversing the effect and usually ruining the piece.

As in art, so, of course, it is in life. Bold moves and decisions are often followed by second guessing, grief and remorse. But I think those reactions are part of regaining one's balance on new ground, adjusting to the new contrast in experience. This is new. I don't recognize this situation. Is it right?

If we're plunged into darkness, it can take a while for our eyes to adjust. Likewise, if we move into daylight after a long time in the dark. What allows us to discern our situation are the contrasting values of dark and light that eventually emerge.


“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.”

― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man


Total Solar Eclipse

My fabulous South African friend, Caren Levy is, yet again, managing a group of eclipse watchers in the best watching spot on the globe near Cairns, Australia.

This is a powerful eclipse wherever you are in the world and whether or not you see it. It's enough to just know that it's happening and that, if things seem dark for a while, the sun will show itself again.

The Total Solar Eclipse takes place on November 13–14, 2012. Click here for specific date and time where you live.


Shadows are the secret of light.

Embrace your shadow!
Click on "The Tools" at the top of the article to read more.

"I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value."

Hermann Hesse


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