A Certain Slant of Light


20×13″, oil on panel, 2015


“A Friendly Challenge,” Gallery 1261, Denver, CO

This painting was inspired by an unnamed Emily Dickinson poem:

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where the winter days are very short. Light would begin to vanish at four in the afternoon. There was something so sad and portentous about the last little bit of sunlight fading at the end of the day. I wanted to show that feeling in my painting. In the eyes of a child, it meant a day of play cut short. As an artist who works by natural daylight, it means a really oppressive limitation on my creative pursuits.

kate@katestoneart.com – 250-709-7441