The Light from the North

NorthIight Studio by Diana Leslie

I had the great pleasure of visiting the Northlight Studio in Stromness in between events of the Orkney Folk Festival – and having a chat…

{The picture of NorthlightStudio is by Diana Leslie who gives art courses in Orkney}

I heard this tale about a piece of art. Three pastel images showed details from the Cathedral of St Magnus in Kirkwall – stone and stained glass and light.

St_Magnus_Cathedral_Kirkwall_OrkneyThe creator had feedback from two lecturers. One complimented the skilled blending of colour, whereas the other derided the ‘airbrush’ effect of the piece.To me, the artwork was beautiful and had captured the inner warmth and light of the Cathedral.

On reflection, it seems to me that a focus on the technical can be a matter of personal taste – or an apparently objective mask for it. For me, it’s the emotional and spiritual response and how well that is conveyed that matters. A piece can be as cleverly constructed as it likes, but if it has no heart, I have no lasting interest in it.

HannahRarityI had a thought in harmony with this whilst listening to singer Hannah Rarity accompanied by Innes White on guitar. Their music had a strength and simplicity about, yet clearly much practice and ability behind it. Such an unaffected rendition created with both thought and feeling I found memorable.

I hope one day to write in that way – where what I have learned only serves to illuminate the truth in my tales.

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