Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seeing Light

From Con Spirito, Painting in Oil by Melody Phaneuf

It was my mother who taught me to notice the light. As a child in my high chair, I would watch how she would stop and stare at a sun beam penetrating our kitchen window, her eyes narrowed and focused on something, to me, intangible. Since I couldn’t yet speak, I didn’t ask what she was looking at but I mimicked her in the hopes I could know what so mesmerized her.

Later I studied how light bathes forms and spills color, how it moves fluidly revealing textures in its wake. Light, to me, is the animating force in visual composition. It is the key to evoking emotional response.

I am often asked how to paint glass or copper or some other object. It is not the materials that I paint but the light that acts upon them. This subtle shift in observation provides a unifying force in painting, and simplifies a complex visual world.


Melody Phaneuf is well known for her evocative still life, landscape, and portrait paintings. Her paintings are regularly on view at The Guild of Boston Artists, 162 Newbury Street; at Fenway Studios, Boston by appointment; and North Shore Art in Gloucester from May through October. Phaneuf's paintings have been exhibited at The National Arts Club in New York City, Galerie Herouet in Paris, and with Art du Monde, in Japan.

Melody The Artist Home, founded with photographer and color specialist, Martha DiMeo, features Phaneuf’s original oil paintings on tumbled marble tile murals and beverage coasters, fine art prints, and handmade notecards.

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