Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Gloamin 3 Some thoughts arising from painting in the gloamin

So far I've sketched and painted the gloamin in pencil charcoal water colour and mixed media. Fairly quickly in my slightly smaller than A4 sketch book. This time I took a small selection of oilsWorking in oils and a 24x30cm board. This medium gave a different feeling, more measured more thoughtful.

"The last white cloud, fragile but still complete,  floats above a darkening strip of blue grey. the cloud glowing above a ridge until enveloped by rising night is reflected in a pond atop the Heights. The heights a barren thin soiled stretch of poor pasture high above Wheelton and the coastal strip below.

When I think of painting or walking at nightfall or dusk, especially in view of the coast I had never thought to look away from the setting sun. I always watched westwards looking to the last glimmer of sunset.  I was blinded probably by the oranges and reds and bright spectaculars. Yet I liked what I saw when I turned Eastwards today and I watched in the coming night.

The action of looking for the dusk  for nightfall for gloamin introduced a whole new range of colours and hues. I say looking for the dusk not at the dusk,  because I don't think that you can look at the dusk, you can only look for it. More than that, I should say you can only feel for gloamin. Its not day its nothing thats clear gloamin messes with our senses. It's all so indistinct, changing, lowering, fragile, light imperceptible different yet becoming the same. Boundaries between hard and soft are gone, wet and dry land are morphing sky and earth all the same. As we walk we stumble, distances become altered steps become dangerous and as our vision decreases so our other senses that we have forgotten are more attuned. Sounds magnified and feelings concerns enhanced. There is a moment a hush a silence a common bond almost a prayer when all birds and animals quiet themselves pre dusk. If your lucky you hear it and you feel the bond as we take watch on the torments of the night and await the sun.

Visually,  now I'm not even sure whether I actually saw the colours I painted, they seemed okay then and as usual back in the studio doing my tidy up bit I had to work hard to leave the painting be. Here in this gloaming world without the sun,  darkness true darkness doesn't exist. Cold exists increasingly exists. Gloamin in between day and night except when maybe you light a lamp and destroy your vision of the new night.  Is that why gloaming is now an old word. Did we forget it existed when we turned on the switch and burnt our personal bridge between day and night. Is this lack of gloamin awareness the reason why we don't seek a bond between god and self, nature and humanity? Afraid of the dark?  Not any more see I have a switch! Look I can see, feel  the warmth from the gas heating, I can look at television.

Do we forget to live the day, celebrate the experiences of a moment that have been lived since time began.  Did we leave that existential daily experience to become buried in the detritus of the everlasting electric day?  We no longer bother to use many of our human innate intuition skills. Maybe we are loosing our senses."

Rob Miller Dec 10th 2018


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