Chasing the Light

South Fork, Colorado

Aux lux nata est aut capta hic libera regnat.

“The light is either born here, or, imprisoned, reigns here in freedom.”

Inscription in the Archiepiscopal Chapel at Ravenna

The Latvian painter has a special love for diffused outdoor light which seems to penetrate the bodies and emanate from them,” a light that reappears within, and from behind, Rothko’s paintings, an illumination glimpsed through a hazy doorway or window, a light longed for but beyond reach.

James E. B. Breslin, Mark Rothko: A Biography

Finally a day has arrived where I feel lucid enough to pick up the watercolor brush and take some stabs at my real passion. In recent years, there are two moments that stand out more than any others when I was stopped in my tracks and just had to stare with bated breath at the light and splendorous colors before me: 1. the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and 2. the view from my cabin porch in South Fork, Colorado (pictured above).

Every attempt I’ve made in watercolor to capture and interpret the light and color before me has failed miserably. Today I have spent some time looking through my photographs of those sights and working on a sheet of watercolor paper, staining pigments I have not used before. I’m making some preliminary experiments and hope to have a new painting underway soon.

Grand Canyon. North Rim

Thanks for reading.

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