Edge Of Understanding

Edge of Understanding 36 X 24

Edge of Understanding (Mixed Media/Acrylic 36″ X 20″)

Throughout my life I have been seeking answers – answers to practical questions, moral questions, scientific questions, and spiritual questions. I have found that the answers to the really stubborn questions usually come in the form of “realizations”. These “realizations” seem to be the combined result of learning new things and experiencing more of life (getting old, in other words…), catalyzed by some random bit of inspiration or the assistance of someone or something functioning as a teacher.

This painting was inspired by my desire to depict the sensation I get when I am on the verge of grasping something that has previously been beyond my understanding, the moment when things start to fall into place. When this happens I find the answer is not immediately apparent in its totality. One key element is revealed and then the other previously obscured aspects of the puzzle are exposed, causing everything to fall into place resulting in a more complete understanding of whatever it is that has been puzzling me.

It is as if a light was turned on inside a previously dimly lit room, and all of the things that earlier appeared to be vague unrelated indistinct shapes suddenly are clearly revealed.

Frequently, the most difficult part of this experience is the realization that something I thought was true is not. It can be hard to let go of old beliefs, especially when those beliefs are about someone rather than something.

In this image the rising sun is illuminating the middle ground while the foreground is still masked by the lingering shadows of night. The background is obscured by the glare of the rising sun that is causing drops of dew to sparkle in the light. The composition is designed so the viewers’ eye is drawn around the shadows and into the light, where still more questions remain.

I do not like suspense, not knowing how things turn out. Maybe all of this searching for answers is motivated by my need to know how things end, how everything turns out. Over time, I have found that the few answers I get only lead to more questions. It seems as if I am always on “The Edge of Understanding”.

Image and text © 2015 James Golaszewski


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