A passion for twilights


One late afternoon in November two years ago I found myself in the woods. The light was fading and a steady wintery breeze found the gaps in my woolen scarf and rustled through beech trees overhead. I had just painted a rapid and expressive view of the path that led down into Grim's ditch, Nuffield. I got carried away flicking my brush at the surface to depict the brown pine needles and remaining leaves; I had to add a new piece of painting paper to extend the composisition. When I looked up - thinking I should finish and pack away-I saw the most electric turquoise colour of the fields across the valley framed by the dark silhouetted trees. In that elusive moment a new theme was born and I haven't even started indulging in it yet!

The photo quality of this next painting is low but it remains one of my most favourite pieces. Very quickly done with limited palette, the tonal range is very close (as is the mood) to the original view. When your eyes strain to define shapes and colours in low light you are witnessing the creator's attempts at the 'lost and found' technique! I find this time of day very moody and powerfully symbolic of mortality.

Just from these subdued turquoises alone I went on to make a few more paintings which attempt to capture that eye-straining, low light magic.

#pleinair #twilight #oilpainting #landscapes

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