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"Aspen Copse" 10×30 inches
If I were a theologian I would argue that opposites only exist in relation to each other. One might argue that without polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces neither element would exist. It is only through this interdependence that life has any meaning at all…for even life has it's opposite. Theoretically even if such a paradox did exist, one would be unable to describe or identify such a condition.
Since I am an artist, not necessarily a "deep thinker" I'm compelled to relate the ideas of Yin and Yang to the visual world. All paintings use the ideas of contrary forces, for what is a painting but an interpretation of objects (or the lack thereof) being influenced by light (or the lack thereof.)
This painting is born from an idea of trying to balance opposites. It uses nearly equal quantities of light and dark. It employs colors that are near polar opposites (partly neutralized for harmonic effect.) The trees themselves seem to be each other's antithesis; one group being bright, full round and colorful; the other being dark, sharp and devoid of color. Even the inclines (the interfaces between the sky/mountain and the mountain shadow/highlighted mountain) are reflections of each other along a horizontal axis. The composition is also an exercise in opposing forces, similar to a balance scale holding and weighing the elements portrayed.
This painting was done on Belgian linen, which will last 500 years (so I'm told…I don't plan on finding out ;)) It was done using many of the techniques made popular by the Barbazon Tonalists. Most notably are the techniques of glazing, scumbbling and employing the additive properties of pigments. This is achieved by applying semi-transparent layers successively thus creating a stained-glass effect. In essence when the light passes through these layers it augments the effect that the light has on the refracted particles of paint and medium. Think of it like passing through millions of little prisms. A light is so much brighter when you surround it with refracting surfaces, the same is true here.