Value

Photos: November in black and white

One of my painting instructors used to get on my case about my tendency to allow colour to distract me from paying attention to value. Value, in art, is the arrangement of dark and light that gives depth and dimension to an image. She suggested I photocopy a painting or take a photo of it and remove all the colour on Photoshop to get down to basic values.

I’m enjoying the exercise of seeing things sans colour. I’m learning to see differently, to pay attention to texture, highlight and shadow.

November is a month that seems relatively colourless to me after the brilliant summer and autumn seasons. It’s so…so… ordinary.

Our Thanksgiving celebrations take place in early October in Canada when travel is usually easier, so there are no significant holidays until Christmas and ski season hasn’t started yet. The days tend to be overcast and the sun is early to bed and late to rise. It’s a time for home maintenance and personal maintenance. It’s a season for staying inside.

I find this season of black and white values a good time to assess personal values. When the distractions fade in our lives what are the values we hold dear? Where is the source of light? Where does the darkness linger?  Is there depth and dimension in our spiritual lives when life is just ordinary?

When it’s all been said and done what does it all come down to? What do I truly value? I am reminded of the first question in the shorter Westminster Confession, which we taught our children as they jumped on the bed in their jammies at the end of the day.

What is the chief purpose of man?

Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.

2 thoughts on “Value

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