The old house

I have never seen an actual painting by David Bez, but I very much admire his work which I have seen on his website. I recently saw a painting by him which was so evocative, so haunting that I want to explore it, and think about why it resonates with me. You may be able to see this work, ‘Still of the Night’, here:

David’s painting is very dark, as if the viewer is standing in the night looking towards an old house and other buildings; some light glows from a few mullioned windows of the big house, and there is a patch of light on the ground before the garden wall or maybe hedge of the other less distinct buildings. Where this light comes from isn’t clear – maybe there’s lying in water and its moonlight reflected in it. The water, if it is water, shimmers with an unearthly glow, gold, silver, and it may be a river flowing past, there seems a sense of movement to the right of the picture. There seem to be reflections dimly, ghost-like on its surface. If it is a river, it is flowing into darkness and shadow on the right, with a faint silhouette of a leafless tree. The ‘river’ on the left runs in front of more bare trees, these old, silvery-barked trees incline to the right, to the centre of the picture, following the flow – if there is one, of the water.

The foreground is murky, maybe there’s undergrowth, brambles, briars, long grass, it isn’t clear. The viewer seems to have emerged from a ramble across a wilderness and has paused to look at these buildings looming in the night. Is the traveller looking at them with relief or joy at the end of an arduous journey, surprise at having come across unknown places unexpectedly on a night walk, fear or trepidation of what lies within the old walls? Or has the traveller merely paused on his way somewhere else, to look at the strange and mysterious sight?

The ‘traveller’ and the viewer can see the two or more buildings through an off-centre circle of light in the darkness, the houses obscured by trees and bushes to the right and left, and darkness above. There seems to be a wall or a hedge and then a double or wide gate across the entrance. The house to the right is enormous, maybe not a house but a building which was a manor or mansion. We can see three rows of windows, and there maybe two more lower floors obscured by trees. There maybe lights within, or it may be moonlight reflecting from the mullioned windows. It is a place with big rooms or many rooms. On the left end is a chimney, a huge chimney, the sort that little boy chimney sweeps would have been forced to climb. The roof is there… or maybe it isn’t.. I am looking at a web image not the actual painting and details aren’t clear. I can imagine this house to be as I want, complete or a magnificent ruin.

To the left of the big house or mansion is another house but all we can see is the gable end and a single window. This too must be a big house, comparing it to the size of the other’s windows, but how big we cannot tell, darkness and trees obscure it.

This is a haunting picture; if I had it on my wall I would take much pleasure and inspiration from looking at it.

Here is a link:

… and a link to David’s Twitter page:

By the way, I’m sure you realised, my featured image isn’t David’s picture!This was a house I saw out on a walk and it just struck me as very intriguing and mysterious and maybe slightly threatening!

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