Joy in Shadows 2

Joy in Shadows 2

This week, I hosted the Mixed Media Monday challenge. It was fun coming up with a theme (and then figuring out what I would do with it.) I started out with “Shadows,” but Diane pressed me to explain what I meant, and I realized that what interested me was the contrast between two opposing forces, so we modified the theme to be “Opposites.”

We cannot be whole without both sides. We cannot know joy if we haven’t experienced sorrow. Life would mean far less if we did not understand that an end comes. You can’t appreciate the sunshine if you haven’t known shadows.

Now, I’m a bit partial to shadows, and I have a friend, Jim Chen, who wrote a poem about shadows, “Schattenfreude.” I used it to inspire a fabric collage earlier this year, and I thought it was worth revisiting the poem and the concept of light and shadows again.

In this rendition, I used Photoshop to up the contrast on a stock photo from Then I used the cutout filter to reduce the image into two colors. I cut out the light grey of the image (the light) and pasted it to a black background (the shadows). I like shadows. They offer us an opportunity to imagine and dream that stark light cannot. To represent that, I painted swirls of gold in the black background. Finally, I took the shadows that made up the form of the woman and wrote in free-association until I filled her up.

Hope you like the piece, and I hope you liked the challenge.