Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Wonder of Just Knowing


"Moon Over Rabbit Bluff"
watercolor; 10"x14"


Let's see here...how well did I follow the "rules" on this assignment?  Sun?  Nope.  Required palette of reds, yellows, oranges, and perhaps a touch of purple?  Not quite.  Sunset?  Maybe if you rewinded this scene back a few minutes.  Three-tier landscape?  Yes (although I see once I scan it that my horizon line is sinking to the right...Oh well.) 

When my watercolor class was asked to paint a setting sun in the course of learning about layers in a traditional landscape, I knew immediately that I wouldn't be so interested in depicting a sunset as I would be the moonrise.  At the end of the day, sometimes there's a moment where those two celestial bodies coexist in the visible sky, a gentle argument between starlight and sunshine.  That was my guiding vision as I proceeded along blissfully, completely ignoring the fact that almost everyone else was dutifully capturing a variety of toasty warm sunsets.  I washed the background with brilliant quinacridone magenta, medium cadmium yellow, mineral violet, and a stunning, sparkly amethyst purple (yes, it's made from genuine amethyst!)  Once the sky was dry, I lifted out pigment to reveal the moon, readying herself for the coming night.  The foreground is executed in a thick, deep, royal dioxazine violet. 

What really tickled me about this painting is that the "story" - two wild bunnies watching the moon rise over the Pacific - just suddenly appeared.  I had painted the bluff and the trees and stepped back.  In front of me, I saw a place and a time but nothing more.  I needed an event, something to give the painting a bit of power and purpose.  And then, in the next moment, I knew it would be rabbits.  I knew there would be two.  I knew one ear needed to be flopped over.  I just knew.  There was no prolonged, agonizing period of analysis or pitched battle in my brain over finding the "perfect" solution.  Those rabbits just appeared in the painting like a slow-developing polaroid that suddenly resolves itself.  Love that...

1 comment:

  1. And I love it TOO!!!! I'm so happy that you listened to your Muse!!! Those little bunnies were meant to watch the moon rise!!! Hugs, Terri xoxoxo

    PS Thanks for the "smile" today!!!

    ReplyDelete

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