Ten Commandments shades of blue Dana Sardine

As I observe my surroundings, I can’t help but notice the extreme polarity in beliefs and perspectives. I also can’t help but notice that the media and all avenues that bring us information only exacerbate this polarity. 

As an artist whose strength lies in color theory, it is difficult to wrap my brain around the rigidity of this line of thinking. If the only two colors that get any airtime are black and white, then what is the purpose of all the other colors? 

I also wonder about all the hybrid colors. Sometimes when I intend to use the color blue, I use more than one shade of blue to create that color. Not only that, I often add some green, and I even have been known to throw in an unlikely color like red or pink that often goes unnoticed in the big picture but lends to the layering and dimension of the color. 

Read more

What happens when the observer looks at the painting is, he perceives the blue, notices the nuances from different angles, and enjoys the depth and interest of the color without always understanding why. Upon further inspection, however, the observer may notice the green or even the red, but to the naked eye, it’s blue. It’s just blue. 

If the observer likes blue, then great, but if the observer doesn’t care for blue or even has an adverse emotional reaction to blue, not so great. Also, if the observer doesn’t care to take the time to analyze the color from different angles or perspectives, he may never have the opportunity to truly appreciate the work of art that is right in front of his very eyes.

I have learned through my experience as an artist and as a human being that nothing is ever JUST one thing. We, as human beings, have developed the habit of categorizing things because that’s how our brain helps us understand and feel safe among our surroundings, but we—all—everything—are so much more than the comfortable category in which we place things.

Who is Dana Sardano?

For those of you that are introduced to me for the first time, I am an author and an artist. Those are easy categories in which to place me—familiar and non-threatening, right? But anyone who truly knows me, anyone who has taken the time to experience me from different angles and different perspectives, understands that there is so much more to me. I’m an educator, a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter, a friend, an ex-girlfriend, and a cancer survivor. I am also a truth teller, a lie teller, a coward, a warrior, an intellectual, an athlete, a smart ass, a joker, smoker, a midnight toker—the list goes on. I am an amalgamation of all my experiences, thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, and paradigms, and it would be unfair to observe me for a single moment in time and say, “Yeah, that’s blue.”

Not only would that be unfair, but it would also be unfair to have experienced me for a brief time in 1991 or 2004 or 2019 and decide that now in this moment, “Yeah, that’s blue.”

Nothing is EVER just one thing—EVER, and when we come to realize that about ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us, it becomes easier to release our judgements and our experience becomes so much richer and enjoyable. 

In 2015, my children were adopted by my husband. Their birth father, who was unable to father them in the way these children needed at the time, courageously stepped aside and allowed Rob and I to raise them together as a family in the way that we see appropriate and for their highest good. This transition was tumultuous and emotion driven on all levels. There were many components, many pitfalls along the way, and many unsolicited opinions as well. 

My narrative is that I did everything I possibly could to make decisions that best served my children, and although I’m sure that there were missteps along the way, I attest to the integrity of this statement. There are many people in my inner circle that will also attest to this statement. Today, my children will attest to this statement. There are, however, many people that will vehemently contradict this statement, and at some point, maybe even tomorrow, my children might become two of those people. 

You see, my fairytale story of how my children were adopted by their father was not painted in black or white or even one shade of blue. There were a myriad of colors and varied artists that collaborated with this story, all sharing their own thoughts, beliefs, perspectives, and paradigms and bringing their own paint sets to boot. My story will never be JUST one thing.

So why does this matter?

My takeaway is that observing a situation is different than experiencing a situation which is different than reflecting on a situation. The more angles and perspectives we take to look at something, the more shades of blue we are able to perceive, thus enriching our experience.