From Start Your Week with Steve, the free weekly e-mail newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art.
The Story behind this painting:
Evening dusk is a magical time, when shadow brushes against light and fuses its coolness into that light’s warmth. In the painting, Light in the Forest, a background of trees forms an enclosure around two young women, who challenge, gently, the impending darkness by the flame of their candles.
There is a sense of quietude, mysticism, mystery, and awe, similar to what one would find in a cathedral or church, but there is no building other than nature’s sanctuary. The colors of the women’s gowns are mirrored in the background; and while the feeling is hushed and quiet, a sense of wildness pervades. Some have called this piece Celtic.
Candlelight dances lightly across a person’s skin, and for an artist, the challenge is to capture light’s warmth while remembering that there are elements of cool as well. Light is not all yellow or orange, in the same way that shadow is not a mass of black. Within each element is its counterpoint, and the push and pull of the two is what creates visual interest.
The models for this piece are Tired of Being Youngest and College Girl, daughters of the artist, and the fascination they felt in working with the candleflame is reflected in their faces. As evening approaches, they stand firm, unafraid of the darkness because two small lights, thought they are small, are all that it needs to combat impending darkness.
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