One way in which repetition is useful is that it develops the ability to see the “value”, that is the shade from dark to light, of a specific color. Advanced students still confuse color saturation, color temperature, and the hue of a color with lightness and darkness. In my own work, I frequently change the literal colors of a scene, but I tend to stick pretty closely to accurate values. The values, and particularly the contrast between dark and light, have a great deal to do with how the eye moves through the picture. Movement is a big part of what gives the painting its energy.
Most of the art work I do is in series. One pastel series completed several years ago was “100 View of Guadalupe Mesa”. I fell in love with Guadalupe Mesa and stayed with its image for several years. The more I repeat and absorb a particular view, the more inventive I become. The borders that are dictated by “reality” break down and the edges between trees, clouds and mesas take on unexpected diversions.
The borders between what I think is there in the landscape, and what may be hidden there, open up in response to repetition. Repetition is a form of devotion. I love looking at the world and I believe I see more, the more I look. I am convinced that the interior world and the exterior world meet in response to this act of devotion and seeing.
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