One of the most important things about painting is contrast, not just between light and dark or warm and cool, but between ideas. A thing has its value when placed next to something that has an opposite or contrasting value. The best way to get a true impression of the elements were looking at is by seeing it in contrast with something else. This gives meaning to it. If you are looking at a composition that has only straight lines you can only appreciate it to a certain level. When you are looking at a composition that has straight edges combined with organic edges, the characteristics and purpose of those straight edges become much more powerful, and likewise with the organic edges. This idea can be applied to all abstract properties that construct a painting. Everything between big shapes/small shapes, dark tones/light tones, warm colors/cool colors, saturated colors/greys, areas of detail and information/areas that are quiet or subtle, thin paint/thick paint, textured areas/smooth areas and on and on. I believe this gives vitality and interest to an artwork.
I have only scratched the surface of this project called "The Energy In Nature". Having spent the last few years going outside to paint, and take pictures, and watch the sky, and stare at the movements of cloud formations, and study the process of atmosphere and climate, I have more questions now then when I first began. There is such a mystery and vastness to it all. There is so much I cant see or understand. Yet to grab my plein-air box and paints and capture an impression I can somehow get a little closer to knowing what this mystery is. For me and my process, failure is a requirement. I have to give myself the ok to create a bad painting, and a lot of them for that matter. It seems to be the only way to find out what my language is. And the atmosphere is continually shifting and moving. 30 miles out over the Pacific ocean there is a mass of vapor and water and energy and electrical particles in the air. Its a system of weather that is put into motion from another system close by and so on as everything is connected. I think about Nietzsche and his writings in Will to Power. I am fascinated with this idea that the energy in nature is a force. Where does the energy come from? How is it so powerful? I don't know. But it seems to have this energy and power because its alive and it has a will of its own.