Here is an article from our friend Donna Drouin from the UK. This is from a series of talks she gave at a Christian Artists Together retreat this summer.
I know that as an artist I try to depict the light I see using a palette of colours that are artificial recreations made by man. I try to recreate my culture’s understanding of light using the visual language I have been taught in school, by society, but I know this isn’t real light. It’s not Gods light, this light I try to recreate is natural, it’s a moment in time, my perceived moment, my representation of this moment, this light.
Light is amazing, wonderful complex, scientific, precious, precise, elusive and cultural.Its measured as a partial and a wave.
Light makes the midges glow in the setting sun. Light changes the colour of the sky, it’s partial reactions with the objects it touches to create the colour we see, it’s always moving, Astronomers use this knowledge to work out the chemical reactions and compositions of planets, stars,and how far away they are. Lights particle reaction with the surfaces of the objects it touches show as the colour of the object by the light that isn’t absorbed. Black is the complete absorption of the spectrum of light, White is the reflection of the entire spectrum whereas grey is an equal reflection of the spectrum.
Yet to recreate this amazing living energy reaction we use a combination of paints which when we mix them all together get that preschool grey, whereas if we mix all the colours of light together white,pure white light. So we are called to be Gods light, we are called to bring God to people in our own way, true to ourselves, honest real, light in the dark, hope, show people Gods light because Gods light is different it’s not the Suns light. The sun has dark spots. Gods light is perfect.
So perhaps it’s a bit impossible to paint, to recreate this light of God because we only have a flawed natural to start with.This doesn’t mean we should stop, it just means we have to keep pushing our skills further and we just have to be honest.