The Power of a Tiny Light

By Sharon Oakes | November 2, 2020

(This post refers to works by my late husband, Bill Oakes, a visionary, educator, and prolific painter.)

Halloween has come and gone but I’m still pondering how much scarier this year is than last year. The darkness enveloping everyone, due to the pandemic and multiple situations causing chaos, makes us all yearn for more light in our lives: more peace, beauty, freedom from fear… more love in the midst of so much hate.

Bill Oakes’ ink painting named “Pandemonium,” to me, captures some of the chaos we are experiencing.


Bill Oakes, “Pandemonium,” printer’s ink on paper 40″ x 26″  2000


There’s so much going on! Look closely and some of the sections are frightening! Yet other views evoke beauty even in the midst of the turmoil!


Bill Oakes, detail 1 of “Pandemonium”


Bill Oakes, detail 2 of “Pandemonium”


But the real message of this painting is a frequent theme in Bill’s art, “The Power of a Tiny Light.” Light is a presence, a power—darkness is the absence of light. Just a little light can dispel darkness! I once read, “Light can fill a dark room, but darkness cannot fill a light room.” We must all do what we can to shed some light and hold on to light to get through this dark time… It was Bill’s vision and hope that each tiny light of awareness of the beauty, of the good that surrounds us, will also expand our capacity to love and be a light for others.


Copyright © 2020 Sharon Oakes
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  1. Gretchen Woodman on November 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Such a wonderful message. This image is incredibly full of mysterious findings. His wife is am incredible person to keep his art and memory alive!

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