I’ve enjoyed being in my studio a few times this past week. The window, which gets the morning sun, is behind me yet I usually have my daylight lamps on too, pointing at the canvas. My neighbours probably think I’m nuts, but who cares, as having those lamps shining helps, my paintings are better for them.
This week the tutorial for my painting course with Peter Keegan has been on painting light. The image is of a mother and two children under a blanket with the warm glow of fairy lights shining upon them, reflecting warmly off their skin, clothes and the underside of the blanket. The light shining into the room through the window behind, is cool and in contrast.
I’ve yet to finish this painting, I have the refining and finessing to do, but it’s been so interesting to think of the painting this way, focusing on the light rather than thinking it’s about the people.
There’s a lesson for life in there too. I’ve already spoken about my studio lights shining. I’ve been careful though and have had them on a ‘timer’, the timer being how I feel. I only paint when I feel I have the energy; if I’m tired, I listen to my body and rest, without thinking that I ‘should’ be painting. By keeping myself and the studio lights on this metaphorical timer, I’m making sure that they do get turned on, they do get to shine, keeping me like the family under the blanket, reflecting warm light, rather than the stark cold light shining at me.