The Sculptor’s Muse – Light
photo showing sunlight reflecting off the autumn maple leaves
photo: Kosciuszko painting and Kosciuszko bronze sculpture lit by the natural sunlight coming through the autumn leaves of the maple tree outside the window
There are many convincing arguments stating that "lighting is everything" - and while maybe not 'everything' light does garnish a fair (and deserved) amount of attention in the art realm. As a sculptor, I use light to 'color' my sculptures through the use of textures and undercuts that I create, to give the illusion of pupils, softness in fabric, skin, hair, etc. I can create eyes that appear to be blue, grey or green, or those that are brown or black by the depth of the iris that I sculpt - allowing more or less shadow to create the effect I want.
This morning I went into my Dining Room and noticed a gorgeous effect of lighting on my oil painting of 'Summer Sunrise in Kosciuszko's Garden'. The only light on the painting was the early morning light - however, this light was being reflected off of the warm golden colors of my maple tree outside. In addition to the warm natural light, the painting itself was painted using the Old Master's techniques of the Hudson River School painters, part of which is creating an atmospheric effect and depth through the use of layer upon layer upon layer of translucent glazes. In the foreground and mid-ground of the painting I used many layers of yellow ochre and Naples yellow and Raw sienna - the natural sunlight reflected off the maple tree enhanced the translucent colors in these layers and the effect was stunning! My painting fairly glowed!
In addition to that, the effect of this warm natural light on the bronze of the sculpture portrait bust of General Kosciuszko was enchanting. So, truly the photograph should be titled 'Autumn Sunrise in Tennessee on Summer's Sunrise in Kosciuszko's Garden and bronze bust'