Searching the Lights

Searching the Lights

[Oil on Canvas, 30"x 40"]

Throughout history and different cultures, we've been conditioned to relate to Light as goodness, positivity, and what is right. The Dark, on the other hand, has long been related to evil, fear, and negativity. This strongly held belief in separateness seeps into our lives.  

We live in a world of duality and thinking in black and white. What is light (right), and what is dark (wrong)? This polarity rears its head in everyday comparisons, such as male-female, politically left-right, sacred-profane, truth-falsehood, and on and on. 

My intention with this painting was to try to symbolize a more profound question: What if we can change our perception and create a new archetype of ideas? A new paradigm wherein the opposites or dualities are not enemies, but one and the same? In other words, the dark is merely a different experience of the light, and both are necessary components to the whole.

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In Searching the Lights, I explored this idea of perception through transitions in hue and intensity. I enveloped the left and right sides of the canvas with darker shades of blue. As these planes of color encroached towards the center, I added lighter and brighter blues. What’s interesting here is that the colors don’t blend into each other gradually. Rather, there’s a distinct transition from the darker shades to the lighter ones. 

The color blue has many interpretations and connotations, most commonly freedom, intuition, imagination, expansiveness, trust, and tranquility. On the other hand, blue can represent a more depressed or passive mindset. In this color, we see beauty, vitality, and even a connection to the divine. At the same time, this color can help us feel sadness and despair. There is beauty, and humanness, in embodying all of these traits simultaneously.   

I incorporated different tones into the composition to help portray this transition from dark to light: Light Blue Violet, Cerulean Blue Hue, Ultramarine Blue, Light Blue, and even Bright Aqua Green. I added some splotches of warmer colors, giving the painting more visual interest while pulling the eye towards the lighter center. 

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The vertical strokes of paint make the colors look like they're in motion, or that the viewer is watching the dark-to-light transition happen before their eyes. In life, we're constantly questioning ourselves, but perhaps there's peace to be found in acknowledging the complexities of our light and dark sides. Just as we're always embodying opposing characteristics, we're also constantly evolving as people, always searching for the light.