Sqft Show 3/12 - Landing Light – Marianne Vander Dussen

Sqft Show 3/12 - Landing Light

The Origins of Landing Light

It's hard to feel anything but peaceful when watching a Lake Nipissing sunset.

That's what I was seeking when I snapped the reference photo for this painting back in March of 2020. The pandemic had just arrived, my daycare had been closed, and like everyone else I was scared and confused. My boys were 19 months at the time, parks were closed, and I spent my days trying to entertain them while teaching online. My husband was participating in ventilation simulations at work, preparing for an influx of patients in CCU, and I was so worried about him getting sick. 

Needless to say, I was not in a good place, mentally or emotionally.

So after one particularly long day, my husband was able to watch the kids while I drove down to the waterfront to take in the sunset. The lake was still frozen solid, and since it's an incredibly shallow body of water, the ice had pulled back the shoreline so I could walk on the bottom of the lake. There had been some melt that day, leading to beautiful snakelike patterns in the exposed sand. Each stream of water glittered with reflective colour from the setting sun. 

There's something about standing in nature that melts problems away. Humanity's troubles are inconsequential to the sun; it will rise and fall regardless. In that moment, as I felt the fiery warmth on my skin at the same time as the cold bite of the wind...I could let it all go. 

The Afterglow Collection

When I was trying to think of a concept for the three landscape paintings in this show, I kept coming back to this reference photo. I loved the colours, the contrast between warm and cool, and the play between the fire of the sky and the ice of the beach. 

When I laid all three reference photos beside each other, it was a done deal. I decided to give them all the word light in the title, as I was aiming to really make the lighting in each piece pop. 

I'm so happy with how the three paintings look side by side, and it's crazy to think that I'm now 25% of the way through the show!

Next week I begin the Radiance Collection, which is the set of florals. I'll be naming each painting after an Old Hollywood actress, which I'll explain in subsequent blog posts.

The next video in the series won't be released until June 3rd, as I have a series of appointments over the next few weeks that will interfere with production (including an appointment to get vaccinated, YAAYYYY!!!). 

BUT I'm so excited with the progress of the show, and I can't wait to show you the paintings I'm currently working on. Until then, have a fabulous long weekend, and enjoy the gorgeous spring weather! 


  • Sizi

    I am one of the people who like blogs, thanks for having yours and sharing your thoughts behind your art. I love your job.

  • Cheryl Erlandson

    thank you for sharing your incredible talent. I have looked for the information you are sharing for a long time. I look forward to my first attempt at painting flowers using your techniques. Your candor is refreshing and encouraging. A special thanking for the “mixing colors” video.

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