Art of the Day: Still Life in Hallway

Sep 16, 2011 by

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Barbara Bayes portrait by Kate Long | copyright 2011-12 | click bigger

Kate Long’s photographic portrait of Barbara Bayes may fool the eye at first blush. Is it a painting? At a glance, the lighting and composition recall something from a Rembrandt portrait. Try a low-watt lightbulb in a hallway, as Long explains below. Whatever the source of its qualities, the photo so impressed the judges that it was juried into the biennial W.Va. Juried Exhibit, which opens Sept. 30, 2011, at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling, W.Va. Here is Long’s description of the photo’s inception, shot one evening after she and Bayes had returned to Long’s Charleston home:

She was very tired that night. We had been somewhere. I can’t remember where. She had a lot on her mind. She was standing in the hallway at my house in front of a dark room. The way the light fell on her, she looked very human and very beautiful, I thought. I asked her if she cared if I took a picture, and she said no. I took it with a Canon G-11 digital camera. I looked at the original of this photo, and, really, all I did was crop it. I have a low-wattage bulb in the hall, a soft light. It didn’t need anything else. I’m not too interested in beautiful the way it’s commercially defined. I’m interested in beautiful ordinary stuff.

Here’s another photo by Long, who recently staged a successful exhibit of her work at Good News Mountaineer Garage space in Charleston (which turns into an art gallery during the monthly Charleton ArtWalks). For more on Long’s words and music and other talents, visit

Kate Long photo | copyright 2011-12


1 Comment

  1. Stunning. Really, really beautiful. Thank you!