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Beauty in the Ordinary

Practicing Stillness: Seeing Simplicity


When we observe our surroundings it can be revealing and enlivening to focus on the shadows: what’s in them, how dark, their shape and how soft or hard the edges are.

It’s fun to keep these ideas in mind when creating the simplicity of a monochromatic painting such as this one. Using only light and dark paints to represent the corresponding shapes, the result still conveys to us the objects and even creates a three-dimensional appearance. Painting monochromatically requires increasing awareness of what is in the light and what is in the dark. Artful awareness in practice!

Practicing Stillness: Seeing Simplicity, original oil on canvas, 10.5″ x 10.5″

Original oil painting by Seamus Berkeley

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It is fascinating to consider that the human eye mainly sees in shades of grey. Most of the receptors in the eye collect light value and only a small number of the receptors perceive color.