So my wife took the kids to my inlaws for a few days to give me some quiet time to hunker down and work. Aside from sleeping better than I have in years, I really needed time to work on this big commissioned painting that’s due soon.
While painting, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts. A lot of people are understandably talking about all the divisiveness in the country right now. It got me thinking about the power of conflict and opposites. The Yin and Yang of everything.
As I’m painting, I will often catch myself (sometimes too late) going off on a tangent or making the object I’m painting too dark or too light or too orange or not saturated enough or whatever. There’s this human tendency we have to stay the course we’re on and we don’t notice until it’s too late.
So when I realize an object I painting is too low in value and dark, like a knee jerk reaction I’ll reach for white or yellow or something to raise the value a bit. But often what’s needed is the opposite. Instead of lightening what I’m painting, if I darken everything else around that object, the object will appear lighter. This seems simple but it’s a very sophisticated way to view a painting problem and most people miss this lesson.
This is a good metaphor for society. We have this intuitive gut reaction to things. We want to fix every problem in the quickest (and frequently the laziest way possible) but often it’s better to think about problems in a relative sense.
There’s a few take-aways here, I’ll let you make your own correlations:
1. Pay attention to the big picture instead of just what you’re seeing all the time.
2. There’s always another way. (Probably a few ways) to achieve the same (or better) results other than what your knee-jerk reaction tells you.
3. Every piece of everything has an impact everywhere else. In other words, it’s all connected. Act accordingly and realize that without the Yang, there is no Yin.
4. Everything is relative to what it’s being compared to (and who’s doing the comparing)