Friday, December 19, 2014


 For twenty-one years I lived in the Midwest.  Sometimes I read about great painters who sought "the light" in places like Greece. I had no idea what they were talking about. Then I went to Greece. On the island of Aegina I saw "the light" and recognized that it was very different than the landlocked light I knew.

Now I live on Cape Cod and I often gaze with astonishment at the light.  Yesterday I went with a group to Provincetown, that little finger of land at the end of the arm that is the penisula of Cape Cod.  A wintery day, with sun and clouds and the LIGHT!  The top picture was taken from Franisi's the favorite local restaurant where we had lunch. This was my view, up the inside beach as it curled toward the end of land.  The tide is out -- when it's high it covers all that sand
Between crab cake BLT sandwich, Bloody Mary, delicious fries and that view, I was enchanted.  It was all the better that I was with a wonderful group of women who had so many topic to talk about.  

The second picture is the kind of light that often entrances me late in the afternoon as I sit here at my computer looking eastward but watching how the light strikes the clouds and makes brilliant patterns

 This semester at ALL in my writing course one of the class members is an art curator (retired)  who wrote an essay about Edward Hopper.  She went to the Metropolitan Museum over Thanksgiving and studied Hopper's paintings from both Cape Cod and of an urban (NYC?) perspective.  She discovered that his city paintings actually have Cape Cod skies (light).  She explained his techniques and the colors he used (she knew because she, too, paints)  NYC has some of the light reflected from the water but it also has the city's pollution.  I've seen the lucent light at about 4:00 on a winter afternoon in NYC. But Cape Cod light is very special.  Part of the reason I dislike these gray winter days is because the light is not the radiance I love.


barbara judge said...

It does seem that certain locations have their own special light shows. Water reflects and intensifies light and mountains provide refracted morning and evening light. I'm sure there are other special cases of superb illumination. As I have commented before -- you certainly have a wonderful environment where you live. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Yes, you're right Barbara. The only other light that was especially memorable was mountain light, as you suggest -- but in the cases that impressed me it was very high, 12,000 or so where the air is thinner and the light has a crystaline look and distances are difficult for those who live lower to estimate.