We all have a personal relationship with light and what it does to our brain chemistry, how we are lifted by and seek out our favorite bits and pieces, how deeply we miss it if absent.
For a time in my youth I was hospital and recovery homebound without access to outdoors. In Vancouver’s wet grey concrete General Hospital of days gone by I had a bed one removed from the windows in the room. On a striker frame I couldn’t move more than a fraction of an inch in any direction for about six weeks. The room itself seemed designed to repel light. When it rained the window about half way up a wall of four towered sections each looking into a courtyard reflecting grey weeping concrete felt a lot like rapunzel’s castle. There was however, an angled bit at the top right edge of the window where I could almost see the sky and on blue days that was heaven. Natural light is a gift.
I have a range of favoured lighting, dim warm diffused such as that of candles in semi darkness or the way light falls like a liquid gold through the trees and highlights bits of plant life, dances with the contrasting shadows. Winter light is an essay all its own, much like winter white, or the many words for ice and snow in inuit language and northern cultures.
Throughout the year I challenge the patience of those who share my life with frequent requests, you MUST come to the window, and see the sunset /sun rise/ storm shadows and so it continues.
For painters and photographers, it may just be a bit closer to awareness at all moments, the fleeting shifts for plein air painters, the magic hour for photographers and filmmakers just as dusk becomes end of day. In the warm summer mornings and evenings you will find me often in my rocking chair in front of the hedge and light plays its magic tricks and the ordinary, inside of the moment become the extraordinary and there it is, that lift.
If I were to spend all of the rest of my time, inside the small bit of the world I inhabit, I believe I would not run short of things to paint, to photograph and to write about. Life is as big or as narrow as you allow it to be.