River Shadows of the Morning Light

River Shadows of the Morning Light

River Shadows of the Morning Light, 2006/07
acrylic on canvas
Collection of the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts
The Jack Blanton Collection
Gift of Jack Blanton

This light-and-shadow-softened scene, where light is as much the subject as specific landscape forms, could well remind frequenters of riversides of their own favorite river landscape. But River Shadows of the Morning Light was painted in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was directly inspired by an early-morning vision of tropical foliage silhouetted against the brightening sky and doubled in the still water.  

The effects of sunlight have been a lifelong interest of Herb Pulliam. Raised in Appomattox, Virginia, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, he grew up in awe of the sun’s artistry. In an artist’s statement he explains that “whether the vista is daybreak or twilight, clear sky or overcast, the presence of sunlight is always powerful. Mountains are reduced to abstract lines dwarfed by the brilliance of light. A seascape emits motion not in the water, but above it.”


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