ART FOR WRITERS Ice hot white… painting Number 4 from the archive
Two for the price of one today because when I was looking through the picures in this series of blog posts I was struck how essentially the same colour range can produce such different moods (and tempertures).
Above: the American painter John Singer Sargent captures the heat of a Mediterrean sun with his simple painting of a staircase on the Italian island of Capri.
This painting first appeared on the blog on January 13 2017. Sargent (1856 – 1925) was considered the leading portrait painter of his generation.
A few months later in May I posted this 1922 painting by Anita Rée.
White trees and white buildings connected by white walkways…but the affect is anything but light, bright or warm. This is the white of bone and dead things.
What we are feeling has an impact on the way we experience our environment and writers have often used the weather to express mood – just think of all those storms in horror films. That image, of course, has passed from being a cliche to being a gothic trope that signals what kind of film we are about to watch.
In our own writing, it shouldn’t be a case of always matching emotion to the weather, but rather of understanding what perception does. Think of a couple in love walking in the countryside on a golden summer’s day. Now think of the same weather and the same countryside, but this time a funeral is taking place. The gold light becomes brassy and the warmth is another burden to bear.
Anita was a German Jewish surrealist artist who committed suicide ten years later at least in part because of the severe antisemitism she was suffering. Many of her paintings were destroyed during the Nazi era for being examples of ‘degenerate art’.
If you enjoyed this, there’s a pretty good chance you’d also like my writing guide Back to Creative Writing School. Nearly 90 five star reviews on Amazon…just saying.
Amazon UK Amazon US