Can you imagine a world without contrast?

I wholeheartedly think true beauty exists in contrast.  Without light we’re unable to appreciate darkness?  Without weight, something delicate would be more difficult appreciate.  Without hunger, how do understand being satisfied?

Without sorrow how do we truly understand joy?

light dark delicate sturdy lillibridge

contrast weight light dark light lillibridge

Without contrast our world would be quite dull.  Imagine really trying to understand (or explain) cold without warmth, smooth without rough, delicious without disgusting or loss without discovery. It really can’t be done.

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
       ―John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

Social scientists (Sherif, Taub and Hovland 1958) studied how much we need contrast all the time to make decisions in or lives.  It’s so much a part of our everyday decision making we don’t really have to ever think about it.  Once I read more I became quite aware of how much contrast is used in retail shopping.

Here’s a link that explains Perceptual Contrast Effect further.

http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/perceptual_contrast.htm

con·trast noun

noun: contrast; plural noun: contrasts
ˈkänˌtrast/
  1. the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.
    “the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine”

These images were shot in Lexington, Kentucky last week at PBS Artist Open Studio during an ecodyeing workshop with Elizabeth Bunsen.  While I was treating my photos I noticed that there was a lot of magnificent contrast. How could there not be when we’re working with rust, leaves and indigo?

Here’s the link to find out about future workshops.

http://www.pbsartist.com/pbsartistopenstudio/

 

My dreamlike experience in Lexington, Kentucky.

I just spent the better part of the week in Lexington, Kentucky helping Elizabeth Bunsen run an ecodyeing workshop with a remarkable group of women.  Our host most magnificent; Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, an encaustic artist has created a space for the magic of artist workshops to take place in an 1880s Victorian home being lovingly restored (encaustic castle).

Patricia (Trish) has remarkable vision for workshops and artists in residency programs of all creative stripes.  Sue Stover started a workshop the day I had to head back to Vermont.  My brood needed me or I would’ve loved to have stayed.  I’ll be back one day.

Here’s the link to Sue’s unique work. http://susanstover.com/

Magnificent sheets and comfortable beds were much welcomed after long days of creativity and laughter (and a few tears as well).  In the morning we gathered in the dining room and we were served homemade granola (ginger fetish), yogurt, fresh baked breads, coffee and spirited conversation.  Over breakfast one day we got to hear the low down from a couple who went to a Pearl Jam show the night before, they snuck in late and didn’t even wake any of us sleeping in the rooms next to theirs.

I can’t quite put into words yet what this experience entirely meant to me, so I thought I would layer some images that felt most “dreamlike” from my days in Kentucky.  There will be a lot more photographs to follow.

Here are the links to get on mailing lists and to check out the accommodations if you are ever planning a trip to Lexington (you really should, very cool city).

http://www.pbsartist.com/

https://www.airbnb.com/users/show/14472982 (login or create an airbnb profile to see more images)

encaustic castle pbsartist laughter elizabeth bunsen pbsartistopenstudio

encaustic castle chandelier pbsartist lexington kentucky encaustic castle pbsartistopenstudio elizabeth bunsen lisa lillibridge pbsartist pbsartistopenstudio pbsartist encaustic castle elizabeth bunsen lillibridge