Painting with Light: the Literary art of Harold Hitchcock

'The true function of the arts is to guide man towards his true destiny,

towards a true understanding of himself and his inner nature'...
Harold Hitchcock 
Sun Rising Through the Italian Alps 2008
'When I was a child I was staying with my grandparents in a little village called Thundersley. It was a very rural area. They had a long garden and at the bottom of it there was a row of very tall elm trees. I happened to be up early one morning, and I saw the sunlight shining right through the foliage of the trees. I remember the rays of light were spraying out, creating a sense of depth in the trees and the surrounding area, and glinting on the bark, giving them an almost jewel-like quality. I'll always remember the effect it had on me... it was a very uplifting feeling, and it remained with me throughout my life. This experience was the germ of it all. It drove me to become a painter, because I wanted to capture that atmosphere, that vision of light'.
Riverside Evening 1996
Thundersley 1978

'I paint to create the world I live in mentally or spiritually... the world of this vision. When I start to paint, I automatically find myself painting a picture which is a transcription of that world. When I paint I just follow this feeling, without letting myself think about it. The play of light on objects has fascinated me ever since. When I look at trees and at light, I look at where the light comes through the foliage, the planes of light passing through the trees; even in the darkest shadow you can still see the light passing through. Whenever I visit places, I gravitate towards those aspects that bring that memory back, a memory which, in its essence, has remained with me.'

Sacred Grove 2004

''All aspects of the creative process," says his son Leonard,"such as composition, coloring and color balance, effects of light etc. come about in Harold's case through a highly developed sensitivity which enables him to feel what to do next in a rather spontaneous way...the subject matter of the paintings (the world which is depicted) also springs from Harold's inner feeling and can be said to be descriptive or symbolic of a spiritual life and feeling. Harold is a truly simple man in the sense that—unlike the vast majority of us—he has retained the child-like ability to avoid labeling or classifying the world more than is absolutely necessary. It is my belief that through the incessant activity of our minds we constantly 'name' the world around us and in so doing reduce it to a dead thing. It is in those moments when we lose our 'map' of the world that suddenly we are surrounded and immersed in something awesome and mysterious and very beautiful." 

Forest Dwelling 1996
Dawn Visitation 1996
Medieval Glastonbury 1985
St Francis 1998
Source: Artmagick