Trip the Light Fantastic with These Phosphorescent Paintings

Shayla Maddox uses special phosphorescent paints to create images of sunsets, landscapes, and even Middle Earth that look different depending on the time of day.

by Beckett Mufson
Feb 4 2015, 8:30pm

Warming - Fiery Red Modern Landscape, Sunrise Sunset by Shayla Maddox. Images courtesy the artist

Gaze long enough at Shayla Maddox's paintings and they begin to transform right before your eyes. They're not projection-mapped or powered by LEDs, though, they're simply infused with what the artist says are "the strongest [phosphorescent] pigments available," making them much more than just glow-in-the-dark. "The color changes with the seasons and weather," she explains to The Creators Project. "What looks one way when it's sunny will change slightly when it's overcast. The angle of the sun in winter highlights different elements than in summer. A person standing to the right will see something different than someone standing to the left."

Maddox to acheives this effect with unwieldy phosphorescent paint by spreading thin layers of the stuff, mixed with standard acryllics, onto a canvas ad nauseum, letting them dry completely in between each round. In depicting anything from a swarm of 159,000 hand-painted dots to a glowing rendition of Middle Earth, she incorporates crushed gass and other "light-reactive" materials to give the paintings an almost sculptural element of three-dimensionality.

Maddox came of age in the early 2000s L.A. club scene, so glow-in-the-dark art has been a huge part of her life for years, but with her light-reactive series she wanted to bring those early influences out from under the blacklight and into the sun. Below find some pictures and GIFs of her paintings in various stages of light to showcase the many facets of her work.

Coalescence by Shayla Maddox

Outshine by Shayla Maddox

The Shire - Middle Earth Landscape by Shayla Maddox

The Shire - Middle Earth Landscape by Shayla Maddox

Maddox paints dozens of phosphorescent dots onto a painting.

Frequency by Shayla Maddox

Echo by Shayla Maddox

To see more light-reactive art, visit Shayla Maddox's website, go to her Musetic page here, or browse her prints for sale on Etsy.


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