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#2 Egret


#2 Egret (890mm x 1220mm Acrylic)


In art, the term chiaroscuro is used to describe a painting which uses strong contrast between light and dark, a style which originated during the Renaissance, and was used by artists such as Raphael, Caravaggio and Rembrandt. This use of light has the ability to provide focus, and to add depth and dimension to the subject matter within the painting. I have long admired many of the great masterpieces that have employed this effect, and find it creeping into my work from different angles, including photography and graphite works.

In Egret, which for me became a very technical piece, I have taken chiaroscuro to the edge. The risk here is to create a stark painting, but the rewards are to focus the attention of the viewer, to invite singular contemplation. For so often it is easy to just see groups, flocks or herds, and forget the individual lives that are around us. Each getting on with life, finding food and shelter, the shared pathways of survival, all interwoven into a wider interconnected world.

This was an interesting piece to work on, for as it progressed I pulled the bird forward out of the darkness, each highlight making it more visible and real, but at the same time being careful to maintain the strong feeling of three dimensions. A single bird on an old broken tree stump, holding our attention as the world rushes by.

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