7 Ways to Celebrate Life Through the Eyes of a Painter

Rosina, 1878, John Singer Sargent

During the meditation portion of Yoga today (those who know me say...wha???), I kept going over and over the tragedy that occurs when one person judges another and takes a life because of their differences.

Celebrate Life! Mind Your Own Business...

Upon examination, these words kept ticker-taping through my head...MYOB. MYOB. Then another word: CONTRAST.

con·trast, noun
the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
Contrast is a principle of art. When defining it, art experts refer to the arrangement of opposite elements (light vs. dark colors, rough vs. smooth textures, large vs. small shapes, etc.) in a piece so as to create visual interest, excitement and drama.

A painter celebrates contrast in the creation of a painting. If these steps are ignored, a boring painting results. Here are the seven I use most often. There are certainly more.

  • A soft line sharpens a hard edge
  • A dark color brightens a light color
  • Dull colors bring out the chroma of bright ones
  • Smooth areas increase the texture of rough spots
  • Big brush marks make small ones stand out
  • Cool Colors make the warm colors feel more sunny
  • Large shapes help the viewer see the small shapes

If a painting is all soft and dreamy, there is no spot for the viewer to focus. As an example, add some texture, and you change the painting and the viewer's experience. 

I think contrast is a principle of life. The world would be a boring place if all thoughts were the same, if all of us were blonde, if all of us were great athletes…painters…writers…parents…teachers…

So, Celebrate Contrast. MYOB.