Friday, August 14, 2009

soft light

"your lamp-light fell
on shining pillows,
of sea-shades and sky-shades,
like umbrellas in java."

wallace stevens (excerpt from "tea")


there's something magical,
almost transformative,
that fills a space

no matter how private . . .
harriet backer "by lamplight" 1890


or public . . .
john atkinson grimshaw "boar lane leeds by lamplight"

when it is lit by softly glowing light.

~

sometimes,
magically,
that light
comes from inside a person....

and you sit by their glow
or gather in the soft light they cast . . .

and are transformed.

35 comments:

Kay said...

Sounds like love to me... gorgeous words and the picture of the lady at the table is beautiful.
Did I ever say count me in on the 19th...I have it written although it may change for this..or that..or something else....

Titus said...

Loved the two pictures in this post steven, haven't seen the Harriet Backer before, and I've looked and looked and still can't work out the light in it - it's almost like day and evening are both in the room. Wonderful thoughts as well, thank you.
Just noticed the bookshelf - is that new? I read The Road yesterday and found myself a little disappointed - maybe the hype I'd read was just too much.

Dave King said...

You were right: I began by being unimpressed with the opening verse, even though it was by Wallace Stevens, but the effect was cumulative, and from the Harriet Backer onwards the transformation was achieved. Clever stuff, Steven!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven:

Ah yes, the many forms and captivating, magical qualities of light. Especially the light from within when it joins with the natural light of the universe.

steven said...

hello kay - i'm glad that you enjoyed the words and paintings. i have counted you in on the 19th kay thanks for your enthusiasm!!!! have a peaceful day - happy writing!! steven

steven said...

hi titus, thanks for your comment. if you click on the painting it should fill your screen giving you more clues to work from!!! i popped the bookshelf in a few days ago just to see how i feel about it and if it gets anyone mentioning its contents.and there you are!! yes i read the road and i was gripped all the way through. i think in part because it's a genre that i run away from usually even though i've read a couple of books that you could call "post-apocalypse." i think i'll skip the film they've made of it though. i did a post about it right here: http://leakstev.blogspot.com/2009/07/road.html

have a lovely day!! steven

steven said...

hi dave, thanks for the generous comments. the wallace stevens is just the slightest chunk of a much larger poem. i feel badly doing that, but it set a tone and a mood so i went ahead anyway. i'm glad that you liked the piece. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - that was the sense i was hoping to convey. the metaphor of a soft light that glows from within and casts the most beautiful light and shadows that meld with the rest of the creation. thanks for visiting and for your thoughtful comment. steven

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good morning Steven, these are lovely renderings and the light is them is wonderfully crafted. I see you have begun to encourage us to think about that "transformative moment". I could be so simple as seeing a beautiful piece of art for the very first time.
Have a great day. Lizzy

steven said...

ha lizzie - the not-so retired teacher in you caught me out! i really was thinking about the inner glow of people, honest i was , but there was a degree of thinking about the transformative moment., oh yes there was!!! have a lovely day and thanks for dropping by. steven

Linda said...

Barry and I have been carefully considering what to write about for the 19th and seeing your post this morning changed my mind one more time. The light from your blog sparked a remembrance. I so love the Harriet Backer work. The fire's gone out, the world is asleep, and is that me she painted, straining my eyes, fighting off sleep because I cannot ever put the book down? =D Your own "inner glow" shines through this post Steven. Blessings!

steven said...

hello linda, when i was writing this piece i was unaware of harriet's work. one big reason for writing this blog was to afford me the opportunity to learn about new (to me) artwork, writing, thinking, photography and whatever else crossed my path. little did i know that my greatest learning would come from the people i "meet" every day on my travels, or who visit me.
thankyou for your very generous comment linda. i am so thrilled that so many extraordinary people are putting theit thoughts towards sharing something that comes from the (to me) most magic place of themselves. i'm having a tough time deciding what to write. i've got pieces started, then stopped all over my desktop!!! but like i said to reya (after the gold puppy), i'll wait and see what appears and go with that!!! have a peaceful day. steven

willow said...

I'm basking in your glow, Steven!

I love Wallace Stevens, Steven...haha. I have a book of his poetry right here on my desk, as we "speak".

Have a lovely weekend, dear bloggy friend.

Tracy said...

I've long admired the work of Harriet Backer, so it was wonderful to find her here and in this post full of nuance. The quality of light in both works is captivating. Happy Day, Steven!

Dan Gurney said...

Others have said it before me, but I'd like to join the chorus to say that your blog glows with inner light.

It IS wonderful to see that inner light shining in people and to feel it when it shines from within. And as others have said, clever way to get us thinking about the transformative moment meme.

Thanks for letting your light shine, Steven!

Crafty Green Poet said...

gorgeous light in these paintings and yes you're right, soflty glowing light is transformative...

The Weaver of Grass said...

When I see that beautiful lamplight I am envious and think we miss something in this electric age - but then I try to read by candle light when we have a power cut and I get frustrated. You are right though, steven, some people do give out that shining light.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I just enjoyed the post and the comments people made. And on my blog, thanks for the comment you left there. I also enjoyed it and agree with most of what you had to say.

steven said...

hi willow - i love his writing and thinking as well!!! i dip in and out of the books i have just because they remind me of what's simple and important - to me!! i'm on the long summer weekend willow but it's soon coming to a close!!! not to worry, i've had a blast!! see you, steven

steven said...

hi tracy - she was new to me when i wrote this post and it's funny how these people somehow slipped through the golden fish radar until just the right moment!! thanks for visiting!!! have a peaceful day, steven

steven said...

hi dan, thanks for the very generous and thoughtful comments. i was thinking this morning as i rode quite far north of my home that a good part of why i have been able to open up and allow myself to really be here is because of the encouragement and the warm space that my blogging friends provide. so that's a thankyou back dan - for all that you have shared and how you have inspired me. have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hi weaver, thanks for your comments. i have read by lamplight and it's hard on the eyes so i have to wonder how many of my forefathers and mothers suffered from eyestrain. or perhaps they just didn't read that much!!! it's lovely as ambient lighting that's for sure.
have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi abe, thanks for dropping in. i love visiting your blog - for what you say and the comments - so i'm glad you experience much the same!!! have a peaceful evening. steven

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful wonderful Atkinson Grimshaw.
I love how you link words and pictures
sp evocative

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm gathering in some light radiated from your blog! Thank you! Wallace Stevens is one of my favs!

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

you are a little glowing light up there in Canada throwing light on different artists, poets, ideas and dispensing sun showers of kind and generous thoughts...

Happy days

steven said...

hi elizabeth - yes, i'm a fan of grimshaw's work - i love his moonlight works. thanks for your kind comment!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hey reya, thanks for dropping by. i love wallace stevens and the light (as i was saying to dan) is as much reflected as it is from me!!! thanks for the light you bring here. have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

oh delwyn thankyou!!!! have a safe journey to new zealand. steven

Amelia said...

Steven...I really enjoy your blog. Almost every day you say something that speaks to me or moves me within. Today's post REALLY tugged at my heart's strings.

"sometimes,
magically,
that light
comes from inside a person...."

I am starting to see that light again...my walls are slowly coming down after much hurt and pain....and I can see the me starting to shine back through to the world.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your inspiration to me with your daily posts.

Dave King said...

Hi Steven,
Just to say that I will take part in your meme, "A Tranformative Moment".

steven said...

hi dave, thanks very much. i've added you to the list of participants. steven

steven said...

hi amelia, thanks fr this wonderful comment. you've been through a lot and it's good that you are finally able to let your own light shine as well as let others lights in. i'm glad that this blog has been able to help you in that process. have a peaceful day. steven

Coastcard said...

Grimshaw is one of my favourites. Great to find him here, Steven.

steven said...

hello coastcard - i've gradually been "discovering" grimshaw's work this year. he is incredibly clever at portraying water and moonlight - two of my favourite subjects. thanks for visiting. steven