“If love is in color then maybe we’re blind, cos it feels like we’re living as shadow and light.” Martin Luke Brown – Shadow & Light Welcome to the September Monthly Muse This month’s focus is Chiaroscuro – the visual representation of light and shadow in art. As always, the Monthly Muse is open for interpretation; however, during September’s journey, I invite you to focus on the techniques and concepts presented, then allow feelings or emotions to develop as the artwork comes alive. Ideally, each week’s art assignment is approached from a neutral state, giving no initial meaning, such as “good” or “bad,” to the concepts of dark and light. It is easy to think of black as bad and white as good. Black/shadow is associated with sadness, fear, heavy emotions, or evil; white/light is associated with purity, goodness, and a fresh start. And while I do believe feeling and emotion will creep into your layout, I sincerely hope you start neutral, giving no initial meaning to shadow and light.Week 1 Challenge: High Contrast Black and White Photos in Art High contrast black and white imagery makes full use of black and white tones to create contrast, mood, flow, and rhythm. The focal point is the juxtaposition between the whitest white and blackest black. Photos with extreme contrast between black and white can reduce textures to nothing – skin becomes marble and onyx. Introduce grey to the mix and you get raw, gritty textures and atmosphere. Photo credits: Angelina Jolie – Guerlain Perfume Ad; Maria Borges by JD Barnes; “Street Portrait" by vascotrancoso For the September Week 1 Muse, you are encouraged to use black and white photos in your art. You are not required to take a new image for this challenge, you may use an older photo or vintage photos pulled from the net. Library of Congress on Flickr is an awesome source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/ You may use post-processing filters or convert your color photo to black and white in your photo editor. Your photo does not have to be pure black and white – you may choose to scale down saturation to near black and white. You may choose to use split-tone affects. Some of my favorite black/white photo filters in apps are:-Hipstamatic – Tinto 1884 + C-Type Plate (some color) or Tinto 1884 + D-Type Plate (pure black/white) -Snapseed – Noir or Black and White -Portrait modes on the iPhoneIf you have the time and inclination this week, convert your camera to black and white and explore photography from several angles: -explore texture and shadows by taking a photo at high noon in bright direct sunlight; -take a high-key photo maximizing white light – have your subject against a white or very light background; -take a low-key photo maximizing black – have your subject against a black or very dark background; -while taking black and white photography, chase shadows and follow the light. If photography is not your thing, you may still find inspiration in this week’s high contrast black and white photography challenge.Literal interpretation (Josef Albers): Interpretive (Marjorie Sarnat) Challenge Requirements: 1. For the Monthly Muse, you may create any style of layout (ie. clean and simple, artsy, pocket style etc.), with or without a photo – yes, even for this photography challenge you can go photoless!! Create any size page you wish. The Art Muse is for everyone; have FUN! 2. You can use any products in The Lily Pad store or retired products from current Lily Pad designers, (just make sure you follow our gallery guidelines). 3. Please post your layout to the Art Journaling Gallery HERE by Midnight, 06 September 2021; and post your layout in this thread by copying the "Share BB Code" to the right of your gallery image. Each post, regardless of the week posted in the month of September earns one chance to win a $5 coupon to the TLP store. Thus, 1 Muse = 1 chance to win 2 Muses = 2 chances to win 3 Muses = 3 chances to win 4 Muses = 4 chances to win As always, this week’s muse is up for interpretation. All I ask is that you allow Chiaroscuro – the visual representation of light and shadow in art to present itself to you; hopefully in the form of a photograph this week.