day five, and synthesizing shifting lights
Today, I spent most of my time painting the face. I intentionally posed her face slightly off profile, tilting it slightly, so as to allow the far eyelashes to show.
As I am painting this work in south light, the light is constantly shifting, and the color changes quickly. Three years ago, I found light changes to be frustrating, but now I almost prefer south light. Though the form is always the same, the light can vary from cold to warm, from blue to yellow, all due to the time of day, or the cloud cover. I take a little bit from each light, and meld it into my work. The result is a light that, actually, doesn’t exist- a synthesis of many lights. This appreciation of daylight isn’t my original thought, as it has been the hallmark of painting for centuries. Currently, a number of naturalist artists continue in this vein, acknowledging that a painter is not painting the thing, but rather, the light falling on the thing. However, art catalogues sell simulated daylight bulbs, which read “Steady, consistent light, color temperature operating at 2,700 Kelvins- it perfectly simulates daylight!” Lark of mercy, will science never stop overstepping its bounds. The daylight bulbs are consistent, for sure, but so is vinyl siding. You want the light to change, it’s like getting multiple opinions on the same subject. In conversation, I am oftentimes bored by individuals that listen to the same news station every day, and likewise I am underwhelmed by a model lit by electric light. Artists such as Rembrandt and Andrew Wyeth take the red glow of morning, the blue overcast of rainy skies, and arrive at a wonderful synthesis, an amalgamation of lights that is as unique to their personal vision as a fingerprint.