‘Tranquil’, 24×30 acrylic, Mirja Vahala
Life is filled with contrasts. Night and day, joy and sadness, loss and gain, health and sickness. This idea of contrasts draws a parallel to how we are taught to paint. It is the contrasts within a painting that ultimately engages us. The darks and lights, the cools and warms, the brights and dulls, lost and found edges. It is life’s contrasts that can provide us with a deep appreciation of what we have, or have had, such as youth, loved ones, health, and opportunities. For me, life without contrast would be flattened to a boring mass of time — without flavour and meaningless.
Artist Richard Schmid tells us to ‘find out what moves you, what you believe in, what you truly understand about life, who you are, and what this experience of being alive means to you. Then put it in your paintings.’ View the yins and yangs as neither good or bad, but as life’s teachers. I have seen myself and other artists find new depth in living while doing the art process. We see more on varying levels, which is enriching. This leads to another contrast, ‘The more we know, the less we know!’ Learning is a contrasted endeavour: never-ending yet immensely satisfying when we reach new levels of achievement.The Artist Within