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In praise of dabbled shadows



Dabbled shadows are for a lack of a better description – layered shadows. Re-reading this sentence I realize the next question is ‘what are layered shadows?’

Words have their limitations, well, mine do. I will attempt to describe.

Picture yourself out for a walk. You’re out on the street, the mid-day sun is high in the sky and the pavement beneath your feet is unusually dry.

You’re lost in your own world, partially staring down as you make your way.

Something catches your eye.

It’s a Hans Hoffman abstract, there on the street, straight in front of you slightly to the left.

Except its bleached black and white and it does not reside on a canvas. It has found its shape and being via the shadows of some overarching buildings.

It’s not a painting at all in the conventional sense, but it could be. It has all the qualities of a very fine, interesting abstract.

The shadows of various hues interlock and overlap, throwing delightful swathes of pattern on to the sidewalk. You stop and marvel.

If you’re really adventurous you take out your mobile phone and take a photo, but you know this gesture is in vain.

The photo will be a poor substitute for what has already taken place. The only way to recreate it is to pull it forth again from your mind’s eye and all the accompanying attendant emotions. It can’t be recreated in a vacuum; it requires that full taste of accompanying experience where you’re first witnessed its beauty.

You will paint it. You will paint it.

With such thoughts you continue your walk, your thoughts now a little lighter, your head a little higher.

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