My show at the Carol Robinson Gallery opens on May 7th. I delivered 11 new pieces to the gallery this week for the Houseghosts exhibition. I completed this painting in Old Algiers while staying for about a month at a little shotgun home on Bouny Street. The painting’s title reflects my attachment to two of the characters in Tony Doerr’s Pullitzer prize winning book All the Light We Cannot See. The characters, Marie-Laure Leblanc and Frederic, stand in the doorways, Marie-Laure in front of the door in the main room,
and Frederic, surrounded by a gentle cloud of birds, remains just inside the inside room on the right.
Where does your gaze go?
Let your attention be pulled into Frederic’s door, though Marie-Laure shan’t resist your gaze for very long. Indeed, you may
notice her first and, as your eyes adjust to the composition and start to investigate the push and pull of the space, you eventually discover the dark blue door and the enigmatic figure waiting there.
Just so you know, this image in no way represents an illustr
ation of Tony Doerr’s story. However, I love it when a book or a poem or a dream sprinkles a little of its salt and pepper on my canvas. This happens more or less with every painting. That’s because when I work, I’m usually asking myself, what am I going to title this piece? And nine times out of ten the answer bears a striking resemblance — if not outright exactness — to whatever I happen to be reading at the time.
A little respect here
In the case of All the Light, the painting’s title is a not-so-veiled homage to the book. That’s truly where the resemblance ends, though, because the title, like the painting itself, is meant to evoke, not illustrate. The best way to pay respect to an artist’s work is to call it out, say its name aloud name if you can, and tip your hat while you utter the words in the light of day.
All the Light, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches