Light through buildings inspiration

I want to deal with transparency in my painting this term. I want to do this because I felt my previous paintings block the viewer from ‘entering’ the painting and fully immersing themselves in the scene, because the marks of paint are so opaque, and literally block the eye from travelling far into the scene.
By adding transparency I hope to overcome this issue, and it will also give me a chance to play with light and colour. To consider sources of light in woodlands and religious interiors, and also how light plays in different weather and times of day.
Here I want to collect works that inspire how I might want to depict light in my own paintings.

This is a screenshot from an image on the Manchester Art Gallery website. I find the block of light in the painting really fascinating. The light highlights the empty space in the scene. In spaces with great height and empty space, the eye focuses on what is at the boundaries of the empty space; how far away the boundaries are from where I am. What this painting does is highlight the empty space contained within the building. It does something that has an edge of sci-fi or magic to it.
In filling the empty space and drawing the viewers eye to it, an atmosphere is created, and it dictates the light and colour in the rest of the scene.
This painting makes a spectacle of empty space! And I love that.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78)
Study for Différentes vues de Pesto…, Plate XIII c.1777/8

I picked up this postcard from Sir John Soane’s museum. The sunlight streaming down onto the ruins appears ‘Godly’ to me. Perhaps this is because the ruins are so old, and remind the eye of the vast time period that humans have been on Earth. And sunlight is associated with the sky, which is associated with heavens this creates a feeling of holiness and great time. That’s very interesting.
So it’s the oldness of the building paired with sunlight which brings connotations of holiness that is captivating in this image for me. But it could also be a captivating element of my own paintings. Since I am interesting in religious buildings built hundreds of years ago, perhaps when paired with light (built through layers of transparency) I could achieve a heavy, intense, holy atmosphere that translates to the viewer.

I looked at some more of Piranesi’s work online

Reading about Piranesi on The Met Museums website states:

the man whose dreams of antiquity so often surpassed reality, from his earliest etchings of architectural fantasies to the fanciful restorations of ancient remains that he produced at the end of his career.

This is fascinating! This idea of creating imaginary and ruined landscapes I find enchanting. The etching above, with the sunlight streaming in, the intense ruins and the men living amongst it produces the impression of a great timeline of human events. And the sunlight streaming in, to me, adds an atmosphere of holiness to this.
I am going to consider the connection between sunlight and holiness in landscape imagery. Perhaps this is something that will crop up, and do I intentionally want it to?, when painting woodland landscapes and religious buildings.

I could return to this artist?

Next I want to play around with glazes and figure out how to work with them.

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