When I was a teenager, I secretly wanted to be an artist, like my mother, who went to art school in her forties.
But I was not ready then, I did not have her artistic flair, so I studied languages and art history instead.
My life long interest in art, both classic and modern, greatly influences my photographic work and when we visited northern Italy many of the paintings we saw inspired this Chiaroscuro collection.
Chiaroscuro is Italian for “light-dark”. In art it is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a term used to describe contrasts of light in cinema and photography.
Chiaroscuro is also typical of still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughly spanning the 17th century. The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe and led European trade, science, and art. Still lifes were a great opportunity to display skill in painting textures and surfaces in great detail and with realistic light effects.
Below is an image I captured in Cornwall of a pale pink camellia flower. It was shot in situ in a garden and in natural light, just after a rain shower.
When I went to Cornwall with my Mum, we visited several of the county’s fabulous gardens. The gardens and trees are over a hundred years old and the camellias and magnolias were in full bloom. As you can see from the photo (below) of my mother on the beach near our hotel* the weather was often quite dramatic, but the low light and rain were in fact an advantage for this type of photography.
The flowers’ jewel colours and dark shining leaves were an inspiration, so reminiscent of classic chiaroscuro paintings that I’ve admired in museums.
Here is a slide show of the images I created and some of these are currently on sale in my shop as 30×40 cm mounted prints.
I hope you enjoy these images as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them to share with you. Some of the Spring Beauties prints are available and on sale in my shop.
Thank you for visiting.