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At the dawn of the day

By West Briton  |  Posted: June 28, 2012

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EVERY dawn is different, a spectrum of changing colours and light.

For artist John Raynes, who is about to launch Aspects of Dawn at Beside The Wave, Falmouth, observing early morning skies has inspired a collection that is filled with a magical luminosity; the celebration of a new day.

Rising in the early hours, before the first crack of light appears, has been well rewarded.

Raynes has found the experience uplifting, describing it as "always salutary and often magical". Choosing places already familiar, Raynes has spent the past four months travelling to Porthleven, Falmouth, Bodmin and Kennal River to capture their changing horizons.

Stripping back the content, water is a recurrent element, reflections emphasising the glow of light.

Weather has played an integral part; the rarity of clear skies has provided some frustration and forecasts have not always been reliable; too much cloud and the day emerges gradually, slowly lightening the surroundings.

Clear skies however provide an altogether different drama.

Raynes describes how the light of each new day has inspired the changing palette of his paintings: "At dawn, sun and cloud may interplay in dramatic evocations of fiery furnaces while at the other end of the scale, total darkness gradually lightens in almost imperceptible shadings of grey to reveal cloud too thick and overall for even the oranges and reds to penetrate. Views well known in other lights look strangely new."

A master of his art, these scenes of light and dark are skilfully rendered, built up in layers over weeks of painting.

Working in oil on board in his studio, Raynes' fascination with abstract shape is visible in the overlaid patterns of light reflected.

The result is a rich impression, a visual feast to return to again and again. Celebrated globally for 30 years of portraiture painting, Raynes still undertakes international commissions for his life studies, yet in landscape he is discovering a path that is proving even more compelling.

The journey of painting is a constant challenge and Raynes persistently embraces the new.

The extremes of each new dawn have clearly provided an abundant source of inspiration, the results of which are paintings exhilarating to behold.

The show will include up to 30 paintings of oil on board. Locations include Falmouth, Penryn, Porthleven, Bodmin Moor and Kennal River.

Aspects Of Dawn at Beside The Wave, Falmouth opens at 10am on Friday, July 6 and continues until Wednesday, July 18.

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