"Light Passing Through"

My oil painting technique is called Dialuminism (”light passing through”) and embeds metal leaf and oil paint within layers of solar resistant resins. The light plays off some areas and casts shadows beneath others, creating a dimensional painting that changes in appearance depending upon where the viewer is standing in relation to the light source.

The Birth of a Genre

When I see artwork that is unique or hear music that is really different, or taste a really innovative flavor combination at one of our local restaurants, I can't help but wonder, "how did they come up with this?" What was the creative process? What were the steps that led from the conception to completion?

I am painter and I am in "learning mode" every day. But when I approach art this way (always inquisitive, not as having "arrived"), I become open to new creative ideas.  Because of this "inquisitiveness", I have come up with a form of art that is (happily) all my own. I call it "dialuminism" which is a compound Greek word that basically means "light passing through" and it's what I call my art genre because that's how it works. I paint on metallic leaf, and so light reflects off that metal and shoots back through the paint, basically creating a back-lit oil painting. Learn more on my Process page.  

And as much as I would love to take all the credit for what I do, I must admit I am not the first to think of painting on metal leaf. The ancient Egyptians started it and the Greeks perfected it. 

As I understand it, all creative ideas build upon previous creative ideas. There is truly nothing new under the sun. What I do as an artist is basically to take pre-existing "ingredients" (or ideas) and re-mix them into a combination that is itself unique. 

So as I consider the steps I've taken, I think I need to confess that I owe my genre to the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. Now before you dismiss me as a right-wing nut job, let me explain. Around 2000, I was strolling though the Mt. Dora Arts Festival in Mt. Dora, FL. One of the booths was staffed by a gentleman that created Greek Orthodox Icons.  When I approached the booth, the sun was shining down through the ancient oak trees and Spanish moss and striking the surface of countless icons, each painted on gold leaf, and I could not leave the booth. I had never seen color do what it was doing. Turns out, that when you back-light color (with light reflecting off the gold leaf), you amplify that color tremendously. I had seen icons in my art history book in college, but I had never actually seen any in person. What I saw stunned me. When I got home, I began playing with metal leaf and oil paint and I couldn't stop. Today, I paint no angels, or virgin Mary's, but every oil painting I create now began with a spark of creativity launched off the face of an icon.

That was the beginning. And every day is (literally) a new beginning.