It’s raining as I write, water pours down the window like syrup in a jar. Montbretia in the garden seem to generate self-made light. Each flower punctuates the greyness with orange flames on stems within the hedgerow. It is often grey days that send me light thinking and remind me of how frequently I dwell on it.
Recently I met Br Guy Colsolmagno for breakfast in Dublin. A sunny morning with the promise of more light to fill the day. We had a fun catch up chat within which were several moments of encouragement sprinkled towards my work. We then headed to the National Gallery of Ireland to see an impressionist exhibition.
Sorolla was a Spanish master of light, the exhibition held fifty works spread over four large rooms in the gallery. All of Sorolla’s work in which the subjects were sails, sailing or water mesmerised me. I enjoyed his brush strokes, bold one stroke renderings of shirt collars. The way he bent sunlight around the arms of children or introduced startling shafts of ilumination into dark rooms was indeed masterly.
Most intriguing to me was the painting Sewing the Sail. His choice of colour tones for the folds and shadows on the sail is superb. You can see that painting here – Sorolla at the National Gallery of Ireland How this painter brings strong Spanish sunlight into the work area saturates the viewer and invites deep long looks.
My habit of observing light and thinking about it was fed by visiting the Sorolla exhibition. In past times when I was at Dublin City University one of the assignments involved making a video. This involved teaching myself iMovies. Its a kind of poem on light. In my video I wanted to show aspects of light in my week as well as fulfilling the list of shots required by the brief. I choose light because it fascinates and challenges me in many ways, it is something that I am aware of all of the time. The natural light from the sun is so multi dimensional and multi functional it sinks into the deepest facets of all our lives without effort or notice. The Light in my Week
Sometimes in life, you get caught up in your own small world. Meeting positive people like Br Guy can sometimes bring light in by their inspiring words. The light within words.
When I do drawings of the moon it is always sunlight edging the rims of craters or tops of mountains that locks my view. Attempting to capture the sun itself with my telescopes on paper is challenging but also irresistible. Watching the action created by the sun on Earth is absorbing and often beautiful beyond description.
Sunsets pouring pink tones on green hills altering my perception of the view. As summer darkness falls on every blade, the only natural light comes to us as twinkling stars. Later in winter, our view of the night sky offers us the reality of our being. Our place in space amongst light visible and invisible. Our past, present and future all in one view.