Most think that art is a talent, some have it, but most feel that they lack artistic talent. Pursuing an art degree is one of the best things I have done. I love art and I love creating, but have never considered myself an artist. There is a stigma attached to art. As if art is “easy” and your degree in art isn’t a real degree. I disagree. I have always taken the hard way through life, and art is challenging. Through art school I have learned the elements of art and design. I am learning that when used correctly, the elements produce a work of art. The elements being: line, shape, value, color, texture, scale, proportion, pattern, space.
Chairoscuro is not an element, but a technique of highly contrasting lights and darks, used to create a sense of drama. Chiaroscuro adds dimension and reality to subjects. I have been attracted to this technique on a personal level. So many times I felt like hiding the dark parts of my life. I only wanted to show the light, I was afraid of the dark. Now I see that without the balance of darks and lights, I lose the sense of reality. I will not hide my darkness. I also will not hide my light. If you see a painting that is all light (or even all dark) it can lack dimension and reality. I have learned to take criticism when it comes to my art and my life. It is possible to appreciate an art form without seeing it as personal style, and move on to the next piece. It is not up to me to make everyone appreciate my art, or my life, as their style. Not everyone has to “get it”, and that’s okay.
Through the study of art that I have completed, and through producing some of my own art, I have come to a new view. I look at my life and my story in a way that I haven’t before. I am looking through an artist’s eyes. I can see the dark as dark, and the light as light, without attachment. I feel that my life, my story, is a beautiful work of art. It is full of darks, lights, vibrant colors, and depth. I see the patterns and texture. I did not know that I would ever be able to view my life in this way.
In paintings and photography, the subjects are most stunning when faced toward the light. This teaches me a lesson: no matter how dark, turn ever towards the light. If nothing else, you will have a stunning work of art.
Painting by Vermeer, The Milkmaid
Photo by Ryan Knapp, Erica/Miles pregnancy