A Certain Slant of Light

Although we have lived in Falmouth for more than thirty years, commitments to painting and exhibiting abroad, painting commissioned portraits and writing art instruction books, have allowed me to postpone responding in paint to the landscape of this glorious peninsula. Now, at last the postponement is over – there are no more excuses and it is as though starting afresh.

I am a student again, an unnerving sensation but a joy too.

Probably every person has a different visual experience when looking at a landscape and certainly every artist trying to pin it down will arrive at a different analysis.We all carry baggage too, an expectation, a tendency to look for and find the expected. I try to rid myself of this and to observe dispassionately, to search out the significant shapes that distil its essence. It may involve drama or stillness or movement or just sheer beauty but ultimately there are only marks on a two dimensional surface that must be made to communicate as succinctly as possible.

I am attracted to shape and I believe that the human brain is able subliminally to observe subtle patterns both as an aid to recognition and also as an aesthetic response. I try to discover these patterns, to select the prevalent ones and to eradicate confusing details. Looking into the prevailing light, rendering shapes as silhouettes is helpful in this respect and many of the pictures here are lit in this way, but not all: just as often my eye is caught by a series of forms in completely other light that lead me on to new patterns. I look forward to wherever I may be led next.

John Raynes 2008