Friday, 29 November 2013

Contre Jour

'Contre Jour' or 'against the light' is an art term used to describe back-lit images in paintings. I read about it, in connection with an exhibition of Daumier's work on view at the Royal Academy.
I made the trip to see his work because I am interested in using silhouette images in my next but one, (they are forming a queue in my head!) family painting. I am using my collection of shadow puppets to depict two male cousins of my mother's and show how they were seen very differently by each parent. I will try to show this by portraying them  in keeping with the Javanese tradition of the men seeing the actual puppets, while the women only saw the shadows.
I am interested in Contre Jour because rather than a flat sharp shadow, Daumier used to add other colours to make the image more subtle and mysterious. Starting my painting is probably a year away yet, but it's nice to keep carrying these ideas around in my head.

P.S.  If you want to hear the two latest radio programmes featuring me (OK, maybe you don't!), they are now available on my website on the NEWS AND REVIEWS page.

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