The Light Advances

TM8216 The Light Advances 30×36 oil on panel


Ever since my first trip to the Isle of Shoals, I’ve been haunted by the extraordinary loveliness of dawn at sea…something about the nuanced colors hovering almost invisibly along the horizon, and the sound of lapping water. The Light Advances is an homage to that sequence of moments – still enveloped by the silence of night.

Technical painting notes: This painting is entirely dependent on layered transparent and semi-transparent glazes for its impact. The sea was roughed in using a bristle brush, Liquin medium, and indigo and greenish umber pigments. The sky was washed with hansa yellow dark. Once these base layers were dry, the real work began.
The sky was thinly painted in gray and peach tones using a nylon filbert brush and a fan blender brush. The band of clouds along the horizon was painted a bit darker than I wanted it to finally appear, allowing the clouds to show through future glazes. The sea was developed using a fine filbert and numerous, rhythmic lines in tones of gold to violet and blue. Each day I glazed the sky with thin, pearly tones of pink/peach and turquoise, and also used a range of violet and turquoise glazes on the sea. The process of repainting and refining the pattern of movement in the water, interwoven with glazes, finally began to capture the nuanced, quiet effect I wanted. Similarly, the refinement of tone in the sky is a result of dozens of subtle glazes – often alternating complementary, muted tones of orange and turquoise to achieve the modest grays near the top and right of the painting. I wanted the painting to be more a whisper than a song.
One by-product of so many glazes on a hard panel is an enamel-like surface.

3 thoughts on “The Light Advances

  1. Just beautiful Teri. You captured the formidable power of a relaxed giant in the handling of the water, …a nice contrast to the sweetness of the blushing sky.

    It calls to mind a quote I once saw:
    “Gentless and strength, both are needed.”

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