• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 08
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Still, Life

It is beyond hard to attain the correct flesh tones. The oil masters brought it off, but then the light elsewhere was all wrong. Heavy dark shadows, eclipsing humanity into allegory. Here I reckon I have the light spot on, the cheerless pink-grey of fighter plane undercarriages, impossible to pick out from the clouds when viewed from the ground. Passing over into the fading golden radiance of autumnal foliage. And her hat the liminal border between the two, the inauspicious clouds that proffer renewal, against the blazing glory that will pale and evanesce. The hat gently ushers my artist’s gaze and the painting’s viewer’s gaze from one light extreme to the other with no dazzling. The only glare is hard set upon her face. A skin tone of rebuke. I feel it catalysing my own complexion. Will she in turn prove to be perennial or deciduous within my lifetime?