once upon a time, artists painted from life scenes only. a model sat, or the artist stayed in a field, day after day, to get colour and composition right. so, when i walked into PAINTING WITH LIGHT, i expected quite something else. i expected, well, painted light.
one definition of camera work is working with light. since the darkroom is the opposite of light and since an image is an interaction between light and dark and all its components in between, working with light was to me a seperate set of things, as opposed to painting.
working my way through the exhibition however, another light inside my head was switched on. all of a sudden, with the start of photography, models didn't have to sit for hours on end, sketches became less necessary, artists started to work from photos.
i was distracted by a wailing child whose horrors of parents had to smooth talk it from one gallery into the next (go figure), when my eye fell upon william dyce's PEGWELL BAY, a painting i have come to call the shell seekers. it is only one of my all time favourites.
i was stunned. i sat down on a comfortable stool and started sketching some, to capture that moment of illumination (mainly in my head), that i should have walked into such beauty on an otherwise ordinary sunday morning. then, i started breathing again.
only to find in the last but one gallery j. s. sargent's CARNATION LILY, LILY ROSE brimming off the pale wall. i remember the vast crowd of visitors in the NPG when sargent had a portraits retrospective on in 2015, and i could only see it but from afar... not this time.
today i practically licked colour and light off the tableau and walked out, gleaming. hopping onto the bus into aldwych, my mind wandered gently back to how painting with light can have so many different meanings. think of clouds! all of 2016 london here.