Chiaroscura – the art of shadows


Cara Chiaro, dear light

Scuro, shadow and dark

like yin and yang

balancing delicately, boldly

challenging one

to define the other

Chiaroscura, that lovely word that lilts off one’s tongue, that sounds so esoteric, is simply a question of light an dark. Draw a light bulb on a white paper and if you think about it, it’s turned off. Draw a light bulb on a white paper and surround the bulb with the darkest value you can, then the bulb seems to have turned on, the light having been activated by the dark.

How delightful it is to see a bicycle leaning against a post in full sunlight casting it’s full shadow to the ground. Or a wire shopping cart. Or the sun pouring through semi-transparent curtains onto household furnishings, sometimes bearing the leaf pattern of the foliage on the outside of that window.


In representational pictures, it is not only the balance of light and dark that sets the composition that draws us from afar to explore it’s intricacies, it’s the life of the objects within it.

Light defined by dark, in turn is the definer of dark.



2 Responses to “Chiaroscura – the art of shadows”

  1. epiphanist Says:

    Nice, thanks.

  2. Maureen Says:

    Is your gallery open on the weekend?
    If so, what hours?

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