A Flicker of Time – Dancing Fireflies

by | Jun 8, 2021

A Flicker of Time oil painting of fireflies over marsh by Daniel Ambrose

A Flicker of Time, oil painting by Daniel Ambrose

“Even if time is just a flicker of light” – Neil Finn

A Flicker of Time is a large oil painting, 36 x 48 inches available at Hughes Gallery.

Many of my paintings begin life as words and memories. Word pictures alight from passages in books, overheard conversations or song lyrics.

Flicker of Time sparked from song lyrics by the Finn Brothers, I Won’t Give In… “Even if time is just a flicker of light.” Memories of the marshland and fireflies around my river home completed the picture.

I had been thinking about the idea of transience; how it manifests in the nature of time and twilight. So I explored it in these two small egg tempera paintings Fireflies at Dusk, followed by Evening Magic.

Then I expanded upon this transient concept in my large oil painting, Flicker of Time. Fireflies seem to convey this with their flickering, now you see it, now you don’t behavior, and the drifting feeling of the clouds suggests movement of time. The crescent shape of the moon is repeated in variations throughout the painting, most notably in the large sweep of the water from foreground to background.

Time is hard to paint. Time is like the wind, you only see the effects of its passage.

I think upon the passage of time not with nostalgia but gratitude and careful observation. I hope awareness of its passing makes me more appreciative and kind to those around me.

I like to think that in my paintings, I capture a flicker of time in celebratory luminous hues..


  1. Dianne Cavarretta

    I hope to one day treasure one of your beautiful flickers of time on my wall. Your attention to detail makes the paintings alive. And your words paint just as pretty a picture!

  2. Isabelle

    Beautiful luminous pieces! Drawn to it…and your words so match the mood. Very inspirational! ?

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