Chiaroscuro (kiːɑːrˈə.skʊrˈoʊ, –skjʊrˈoʊ, Italian for light-dark) is a term in art for a contrast between light and dark. The term is usually applied to bold contrasts affecting a whole composition, but is also more technically used by artists and art historians for the use of effects representing contrasts of light, not necessarily strong, to achieve a sense of volume in modeling three-dimensional objects such as the human body.
My friend Deb often refers to chiaroscuro in the life sense, the interplay of lightness and dark that makes up our day to day. Like the touch of bitter that makes the sweet taste sweeter, or the long winter that makes the warmth of spring fairly explode in green and gold. We are supposed to have both, life would not be as rich without the contrast...but I forget that sometimes.
Sometimes I just want sweetie, sunny, lollipops and tulips, happy, happy, safe and sound, sex in the afternoon, buttercream on cupcakes and laffs and fun, and pleasant, peaceful times. I forget about that other stuff, that it is coming, always around the corner, always a measure of it to be mixed into your cup (hopefully just a small measure, just a teaspoon or two, if you please?). Or I don't forget, I get askeered...nervously waiting, fretting, worrying, what's coming next??? And I'm not even enjoying the sex and the buttercream, and my dimple-faced kids, because I am too busy anticipating trouble.
What if ((dramatic pause))...what if I could just accept the chiaroscuro of life? Could I?
Wow. I don't know. I may have just blown my own mind. It is so antipathetic to my own personality. I am a planner and a worrier, not an easygoing bone in my bod. But what if I could just embrace the light and the dark, respecting that life ever has been and always will be balanced on the tensile wire of the two? I will be sad. I will be frustrated. I will show my impatience. I will try and fail. And that's OK. Grief will come. Bad luck, bad judgement, hard times, illness and struggle. Angst and boredom. All a part it. And that's OK...really OK, not indicative of a larger failure, a lack of planning, lack of faith, or weakness of character...just part of being human, part of life, as natural as breathing, as inevitable as -40C in a Winnipeg winter.
Because there is the other part too...the light, and I have noooo problem accepting that (funny how that works).
Been playing with some new texture and colours in my art journal. Oranges, purples and reds. I love this page, but can't seem to get a really good pic of it. It is rich, full of light and dark and beautiful all the same.
Blow by blow report from our Nov/Dec 2011 Orlando extended family vacation of a lifetime. Set to private to protect our superhero alter ego anonymity, leave a comment here or email me @ email@example.com if you want to take a gander. Disney haters need not apply.