Artistic Endeavors – Capturing Light

There’s an inherent contradiction between the permanence of a painting and the fleeting quality of light. Yet painters have been obsessed with capturing light for centuries. Monet’s paintings of Rouen Cathedral are a prime example.

I thought of these paintings when I viewed this time lapse video of  light through the stained glass windows in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Composer Danyal Dhondy recently wrote a score for the originally silent video.

Colin Winterbottom, who made the video, said,

I am primarily a black and white architectural still photographer, but while documenting post-earthquake repairs at Washington National Cathedral I was impressed by the drama of the vibrant colors the windows “painted” on stone and scaffold. With just weeks before a related exhibition was to open I began mounting cameras to scaffold to take advantage of rare vantage points.

Here’s the featured rose window. Enjoy.


Filed under Commentary, Inspiration

14 responses to “Artistic Endeavors – Capturing Light

  1. Well! If anything was going to make me believe in God, that video might do it! What an awesome set of images–I loved how you could see clouds passing without seeing the clouds!

  2. Thanks. That was wonderful, helped calm my crabby mood. 🙂

  3. Rachel Ratten

    Thank you for posting art history/design information that can help inspire quilt creativity. I am from a painting and printmaking background moving into quilting, so while technical know how is obviously a must, I do agree with you that definitions of originality is often a contentious area in quilt art. Far too many other quilt websites (and quilters) don’t explore this vital pool of resourses…cheers!

  4. Wow, that was a feast for the eyes and ears! Thank you for sharing.

  5. That was awesome — the chance to see the architectural and stained glass windows up close, the way he included the construction materials and didn’t wait until everything was pretty and presentable, and most of all, his idea of “sharing from rare vantage points.” Lots to think about here! Thanks for sharing this.

  6. Penny

    Hi, Joanna,

    What a gorgeous video! If you haven’t been to Rouen to see the cathedral, it’s a must. It was the first place we visited several years ago. The most amazing aspect is how it was carefully reconstructed following the WW2 bombings! I’m a big fan of Monet as well…

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