Travel with a painter

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Painter goes in search of sunlight.

For almost as long as I can remember my dad has been a painter. His output has become more serious, skillful, and prodigious since he retired. Now he’s traveling with us, swapping South Island sunsets for Roman ruins as subjects.

Travel looks a little different through a painter’s eyes. I’m not sure what the painting equivalent to a photogenic scene is, but dad is always looking for it. The scene, that is, not the word.

It has a lot to do with light. Whereas we judge an absence of rain and haze as good travel conditions, dad is all about the existence of bright sunshine. Light lends shadow, depth and complexity to a painted image. It’s autumn here in Turkey and the weather is pleasant but the light has been hit and miss. That’s led to:

  • Small jumps of joy when the sun pops out for time enough to snap or sketch and scene that will be painted up later.
  • A lot of comments like “I hope the sun comes out soon”, “Maybe the sun will come out soon”, or “I’m not moving until the sun comes out”.

We’re headed on to Spain soon, and dad’s interests will no doubt turn sharply in the direction of Europe’s astoundingly good art galleries. But I have no doubt that when the sun suddenly cuts through the cloud like the hand of God, the sketch book will be fished out again.

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