Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Artistic Light

It’s always seemed to me that there’s a special quality to the light on Gower.  Maybe other parts of Britain’s coast have outstanding light too, but I doubt there’s none clearer than that on a cloudless winter’s day on Gower with the wind in the northwest.  It’s cold on the cliff path this morning, with a light breeze blowing; a few high clouds skit across the sky and the light is truly spectacular.   Against the pastel-blue sky, the limestone outcrops and newly painted  beach huts at Langland Bay look wonderful, and the greens and browns of the cliffs, so dull for most of the winter, have come alive, showing hidden colours.  On similar days in summer, when carpets of flowers are added, the cliff face gleams with natural brightness, difficult to match anywhere in the world.

It’s often said that Cornwall has special light for painters and I wonder how Gower compares.  Perhaps it was the fashionable nature of St Ives and other Cornish villages that attracted artists when Gower was a sleepy unknown place.  I’m no artist, but looking at the silvery light across the bay towards Oxwich Point, it’s hard to image any place more suited to artists than this.

The light brings colour to the sea.  High tide and no gales of late mean there’s not much silt in the water.  Sparking blues and greens move across the surface with the breeze, interrupted by silvery patches when a cloud passes overhead.  I can see for miles and even make out the sun’s reflections from windows in the Devonshire town of Ilfracombe across the channel.  

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