Monday, April 11, 2011

Artistic Musings

The effect of brilliancy is to be obtained principally from the oppositions of cool colors with warm colors, and the opposition of grave colors with bright colors. If all colors are bright, there is no brightness." -Robert Henri

Brightness. Brilliancy. Beauty. Something set apart and special. Art, the artistic spirit if you will, serves a purpose in presenting images, sounds, phrases, which tantalize the human desire to be connected, to feel understood. People want brilliancy in their lives. We crave uniqueness. We want to shine, in whatever aspect of our lives, brighter than anyone else's star. We want to be recognized and remembered. However, we know, from witnessing failed attempts to stand out or become a star, that it is impossible for everyone to be brilliant. That's what Henri taught.

Any work of art becomes brilliant by juxtaposing the dark and the light. Without sadness, depressing notions, tragedy, and devastation, happiness, joy, and ecstasy can not shine as treasures of life. Artists like William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge and even Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix, all of whom experienced great tragedies and suffered horrendous addictions and illnesses, created astounding and touching works of art. Perhaps this can be attributed to their wide range of emotional capacity caused by the lows they had weathered and the highs they achieved.

All art must have contrast. Great art contrasts vastly and effectively. When people have experienced a wide range of intense emotions, they have a better shot at achieving brilliancy. All people experience, to some degree, a wave of emotions. In those who have lived rather sheltered and typical lives, the ability to feel deeply and to connect with others is handicapped. People with emotional baggage can draw from a vast pool of connections and affect other people with their art.