Gary Justis

Gary Justis
Bloomington, Illinois, US
April 04
Gary Justis has worked primarily in the area of kinetic sculpture for the last 34 years. He lived and worked in Chicago from 1977 to 1999. He currently resides in Bloomington Illinois, where he teaches and writes stories about his actual experiences. (please take a look at his "Sculpture" link for more info)


OCTOBER 27, 2010 11:54PM

A Safe Place for “Make-Believe”

Rate: 24 Flag


When light streams into this old house on a sunny, windswept day, the reflections offer an animated spectacle, rousing the walls and various elements of the house to communicate even further beyond their relevant function. A safe place for “make-believe” has arrived.


Small radiant conversations flash and split; interweave and flow on surfaces that have been around since 1889.



Imagine the light performing for our ancestors, or the antecedents of someone, streaming in the same way…on these walls, for well over a century.  



On rare occasions at night, or very early in the morning, there is a more elusive light that brushes and sweeps around the walls of the Blue Room. The blades of light are dimmer, and much faster than the daytime light.


When it happens, there is no visible source of the illumination. The streets are free of moving cars, the sidewalks are dark and desolate, and there is no sound.


I’ve bolted from bed to look for the source; perhaps a neighbor with a flashlight, a passing airplane, or even a meteor could explain the phenomenon. There is never any evidence of the light’s origin.


My camera is close at hand now, and perhaps with some swiftness and luck, I might be able to get a visual capture of the day-time light’s elusive cousin.



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My home in Canada was built in 1867 and every day you see a new light "sabre" and shadow.
I wish I had lived in it when they built it.
I love architecture..
Rated with hugs
Thanks Linda! sounds like a wonderful place where you live. Enjoy. I share a love of architecture as well.
They knew where to out the window in those old houses. Our place was built in 1875 and has some windows with the original glass leaving rippled designs in the morning light.
The light play through mullioned windows is indeed magical!
if this wasn't the same house that held the whirly-gig on the front porch, I think the safe place must be looking out through your eyes
It's great to see everyone! Thanks for the visit.
At night, in the blue room there are blades of light that sweep around the walls. I've seen it happen several times, and there is no outside's usually around 3:00 am, no cars on the streets, not a soul around. I've been keeping the camera by the bed, hoping to make a visual capture of the more illusive cousin of what we see in the video.
I grew up in a very old house and still stay there once a week, lots of creaky noices, doors open and close, no one will stay up in the attic but me, it's my home away from home. You make your house look enchanted Gary. I love this photo. I can imagine a small child be intrigued and laughing at those sunlight prisms. Excellent.
Such delicate dancing light, as though through liquid somewhere! What a great capture!
Well, you have magic all around you, Mr. Justis. That's why the light does that. It's your team of creative angels at work.

I love the work we do together. (Somehow I feel as if we are on parallel creative paths. Or complimentary ones.)

Kudos and rated and respected.
The enchanted house...~r
Hope you get a shot of the spectral light. The daylight light is great.

When I was a kid, we had a pane of glass in the front door with beveled edges, and it cast prisms all over the living-room that moved with the sun.
Rita, Old houses give us unexpected things don’t they? Attics are places of enchantment for everyone. Perhaps it’s the light and the darkness mixed together.
Thank you for the visit and kind comment.

Owl, It happens almost every evening this time of year. The sun is in a correct position, as it has been for 121 years!

Hi Beth! Yes, I love it too…maybe there is some parallel course for our creative investigations. I am so glad you came over…good to see you and receive your original comment. I treasure your input.

Hello Joan!... I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

Myriad, thanks for reminding me about the prismatic separation of the colors. It does happen most of the time, depending on the angle of the sun. And I have to use my Nikon to get the blues and other saturations. Thanks so much for your comment!
Prismatic, luminous... and vaguely menacing!
love it. as a stained glass artist, this is the best time for glass since the sun is low and shines right through it.
This was a treat! I loved the light of home, coming through 16 pane windows, sometimes with fig leaves dancing on the walls.

Monsieur, I would use the first two words of your lovely comment in describing your writing. Thanks for being such a magnificent in-voluntary mentor.

FTM, Yes, the light at this time of year has more expression, creates more contrast. I find it harder to see outside, but I like it, with light and shadow causing visual complexity…better than having the overhead light of summer on all the time.

Thank you Zuma! Sometimes a similar thing happens with moonlight. When it strikes things tat are white, they glow silver….
Gorgeous! Love it Gary. No wonder there are stories that are generated from light. Perfect post for the weekend, well done, masterfully presented.
indescribably lovely. If words could make sense of this they would say _____ and ____ ___ ______ and _____ __ _ _________
Thomas Kincade and Vermeer are both very jealous of your understanding of light, Gary. If this post was a blanket I would wrap myself inside of it and meditate.
This is just staggeringly beautiful. If anyone could match those incredible pictures with words, it would be you. Wow. Wow.
Wow Wow...
I agree "Wow Wow"
Pop carried rabbits,
and big old possums,
to sell them at a store,
Gary Justis hitched the`
wagon and hauled `um`
and bartered for one jug`
wine, beets, turnip greens`
and the eve went happy-well`
and Gary drank and saw-light`
and folks thought he was loon`
Moon beamed from honey brew`
Your classes must Love You huh`
because Ya gaze at moon all night!
Linda Seccaspina say`
You suffer from lack of`
hug`ism? I need hug too!!
I diagnose that we all need`
big hugs,
wet kisses,
Linda do it.
I hope so.
I would`
hug her`
if you`
no do`
O my!
John Muir said`

When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
one finds it attached to the rest of the world.
I say`
Bees know how to make wax that's right for bees.
I use to have 32- honeybee colonies. You's all sweet.
I may get back and do those things that sting sweets.
Athena put these words on mortal lips` No worries.
Your anger will be transformed and become sweets.
Those comforting words were placed on mortal lips.
She meant`
Sweeter than honeycomb.
Thanks for that reminder.
Barry, the light, in its elusive forms, holds my interest perhaps more than objects. The substantive “things” around us take on many differing meanings…and sometimes even diverse permutations depending on the nature of the light. Thanks for coming by Barry.

Greg, I will let time fill in the blanks. Knowing you as I do from this wonderful forum, I imagine words that help my slow mind to learn a little more… thanks

Hello Mary, Vermeer was, as far as we know, the author of very few pieces…and what masterpieces they were! Thank you for your kind, supportive comment.

Sally, Good to see you again!! Thank you and I wish you well..always.

Art, Again, I am honored to receive two works of fine poetry from you. You’ve become one of my all-time favorites..and Linda does give me hugs and smoochies
Best wishes to you, family and especially the Grandkids!
Love the energy and the dances of light in all your work...this one in particular! Late I am, but grateful for the viewing here! Rated, belatedly though with appreciation! Thanks Gary!!!
Amazingly beautiful! Thank you.
Imagination is all we need to Make-Believe!
Love this post. Something about old houses with winding paths and many rooms and windows. They generate things. I've always lived in dull little single floor apartments in New York City, and the light effects were lackluster to say the least. Actually, except when I sat down on my parents' couch at the right time in the afternoon: weird jellyfish-like patterns would reflect onto the walls off the vinyl covers.
Gary - I'm so glad you found my recent post because, as a result, I have found your blog. The photograph and write are so gracious. I have to admit, I've been noticing the light-play in my own house since I watched your video. Rated