The light maybe of a writer, a night writer. Maybe W.S Graham, the night-fisherman, catching his poems in his nets.
I love night...winter too ...(if on a winter’s night a traveller...maybe it is Calvino’s desk?)
Being cosy and inside. The ripe environment for the storyteller.
People associate painting with light, qualities of light, windows must face north for that unchanging light. This is talked about as an absolute essential for a painter, and I have defended this to the death when the ‘suits’ at Gray’s have wanted to move the painting studios, when they say it can be done anywhere (“do students really need 15 feet of space above their heads?” “yes they do actually”). For most painters it might be true. For me it’s not. I acknowledge I am not normal. I feel attuned to Goya and his candle hat and Guston in his night studio, and his favourite cupboard where he would retreat as a boy to draw
“ feeling hidden and strange” his “favourite mood of all.”
The support was a sombre green, like a dusty bottle of vintage wine. A book with a history. I think it was a Victor Hugo book, or maybe Goethe, and unusually the image too was inside, an engraving of a room. It had figures. No lamp. I took the figures out and added the lamp, and the house outside. The chairs seemed to be substitutes for the figures, as if a conversation had taken place. Perhaps they had to leave in a hurry. I thought of the Flannan Isle Lighthouse mystery and the scene of chairs around a table, but no signs of life except a squawking starving parrot.
The hour is very late or very early or, as my friend Eddie Summerton calls it, “between the late and early”. Four in the morning. The hour of the wolf. The hour that most people die and most babies are born.