Saturday, September 26, 2015

Day 26 :: DUSK :: #30in30 Painting a Day Challenge

by Kim Morin Weineck
original pastel, 6x6"
at The Drawing Room, Marion, MA 

When I ask what painting subjects people would like to see, the response is often twilight skies and night scenes, and that is a tall order. Painting night and unusual light may be the last subject painters can call their own. Before cameras, artists were the recorders of light and history. With no imperative to record what is seen in a time when we are overwhelmed with visual imagery, dusk, dawn, twilight, and night are still open to wide artistic interpretation. For me, the camera can't quite capture the essence of unusual light. 

In class I often mention that the best reference for me to work from is a terrible photo and my own sketches and notes. When the photo is a crisp and accurate representation of what I'd like to paint, I feel compelled to recreate exactly what I see and become a human photocopy machine. 

References at the times of day that light is tricky for a camera -- dusk, dawn, twilight, night, etc. -- are often the best of photos to work from to make good paintings. The photos are grainy and dark. The color is exaggerated or underwhelming. It's all about interpretation, and that is when artists get to show off their creativity. 

As I've mentioned before, our neighborhood includes a fantastic field which has been featured in six of my prior #30in30 paintings. As September comes to a close, the light continues to change and darkness comes earlier. Our late summer sunset walks are now at dusk and twilight, even when we start them earlier. The color has changed and the greens are browning. I was struck by the colors during a walk in the field. Purple seemed everywhere.

As homes in the neighborhood turn on their lights, there is a new flicker in the landscape. You'll see that first beacon in the distant tree line. When I saw it, I knew I had my next painting subject!

Thanks for reading!  -kmw

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