A World of Shadows

Inspired after watching Birdman – a very effective study of shadows…

We live in a world of shadows.  Everything here of substance, casts a shadow. Its size and density is largely determined by the light source.  As an artist, this is a constant source of interest.  Learning how to see shadows has been rich and tireless.  Shadows have grown in my understanding from being a necessary and intimidating task, to being a source of beauty and intrigue.  Shadows can be the most beautiful part of a painting.  A shadow in art is rarely the center of attention, but certainly can be the subtle actor which holds the objects of light in a composition to their task.

Art has proven itself to be a source of wisdom when paralleled with life.  After years of studying, I have come to a new understanding of a shadow’s importance.  I learn as much in studying an object’s shadow as I do in studying the light. I tell my students they are not painting objects, rather they are learning to be painters of light.  I will amend this to include shadow.  We are painters of light and shadow.  We study the heart of both.  Light is open and enriching.  We gain nutrients from it.  Light is a necessity for living.  Shadows are generously given life by illumination.  In some ways shadows give us a rest from reality.  Shadows can be fantasy.  At times, they hold our deepest secrets, our fears, or they can sing of a mysterious loveliness.  They are the binding which holds us to this silent planet.  It is time now, to make friends with the shadows in our lives.  Time to stop fearing them.  Let us find our shadows and trace them back to their light source.  Our truth will set us free.

2 thoughts on “A World of Shadows”

  1. Some lovely insights here along with a beautiful and intriguing painting. Thank you for sharing your substantial gifts, Dorsey.

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