I love art, especially hand drawn works. I don’t draw (although I have been accused of drawling often enough). Two things seem very important in sketch art: what is there and what contrasts with what is there.
|Original art - Vanessa Boynton|
The use of shadow, contrast and ‘white space’ serve to catch my eye and draw a needed focus to the rest of the work. Without shadow and contrast – the main image and focus is impossible to see. The darkness and the light are necessary. Now allow me to think out loud for a moment.
I’ve heard many people wax philosophical about the role of shadow, darkness (aka evil) in our lives. It is sometimes casually mentioned, “Well, if it wasn’t for the bad – we wouldn’t appreciate the good.” While there is some truth to this in art and artistry, I believe I will take exception with any universal application of that slogan - at least today.
Poetically speaking it may be true that struggling in the dark, searching for a light switch, may lead us to feel relieved when we flip on the light (heck! I certainly don’t want to trip over my dog in the night. He might bite), it is not then necessary for me to have that darkness to appreciate the convenience of light. I don’t have to have wet to enjoy dry, or black to like white, or loud to love quiet. However, let’s assume for a moment that these life contrasts are necessary – it still doesn’t prove we need evil. Speaking of evil, let talk about parenting (funny? Yes?)
If you grow up as a child with loving, attentive and kind parents – do you require bad parents to recognize this? I don’t think so. You just live and thrive within the goodness of your “Leave It to Beaver” household. There doesn’t have to be an abusive, molesting father in the world in order for us to benefit from and enjoy the tenderness of a loving parent. No. There seems to be a point at which the contrasting experiences of our living cease to be variants of natural conditions and become something qualitatively different.
I think my point is that there is a real, not just theoretical distinction between artistic or life reference contrast and the real ‘darkside’ of our life. There are bad, severely misshaped realities (read people) in our world. We should work to change that and under no circumstances should we justify their existence with some artistic or poetic analogy.
Does this make sense to you? Is there a line, however difficult to draw consistently, that separates acceptable differences from just plain wrong?
Note: strange thought just now – I believe both Hitler and Jesus would agree with the above. That’s scary.