di·lation of imagination
Darkness is the absence of light. In low light, your pupils open up, or dilate, to let in more light. My new series "di·lation of imagination" explores the relationship between darkness and light, and how the mind expands to let light in. In a shadowed space, the less light you have the more it stands out. Light is intensified by darkness.
Using stark contrasts of lights and darks, my intention is to convey a mysterious, deep emotion in each of my portraits. Inspired by chiaroscuro (the treatment of light and shade in a painting), I discovered that the viewer's attention is drawn to the highlighted eye in the shadows while the dark space encourages the viewer to look deeper into the darkness, searching for familiar shapes as the mind tries to piece together hidden forms.
Delving deeper into my study of light and darkness, I discovered Tenebrism, a painting style developed around the 17th century using pronounced chiaroscuro. Applying this kind of dramatic illumination, the darkness in the painting becomes the dominant feature. Experimenting with this idea, I painted shadows on my portraits to cover the entire side of the face. I discovered that the more darkness I added to the painting, the more the lights popped, bringing the focus and attention to the highlighted eye in the shadows.
The more dark shapes I filled in, the more the light stood out. I only needed the smallest amount of dots and lines to create an eye in the shadows, and it became a focal point in the painting. The darkness that I thought would be the dominant feature became secondary, while the light became the interest.
Discover your own interpretations of darkness and light as you view these mysterious, captivating portraits. Let your mind go, expand, dilate and open your imagination to let the light in and you may find yourself looking at things from a perspective you didn't know existed.
"Change the way you see things and the things you see will change." -Wayne Dyer
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FB Page: @girlpaintedartwork
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