Monday, August 8, 2011

Light Shows

Just a week ago I was in AZ and it is the monsoon season. This brings big billowing clouds, high temperatures, beautiful sunsets, heat lighting, sand storms and thunderstorms. One night was especially full of clouds and the sunset was amazing, pinks, yellows, oranges, reds just breathtaking. As the sun was going down the light show began, heat lighting but it was behind the clouds jumping from side to side and up and down. My son said it looked liked the flashes from paparazzi photographers. Then the thunderstorm started rolling in with lighting going across the sky parallel to the ground. It was an impressive evening.

Back in MD I saw a different kind of light show. Early morning as the sun is rising and the wind is gently blowing the dappled light goes across the trees. The leaves play a little tune and the trees rubbing on each other have the sound of deer or elk as they call out for their mate.

It takes time and patience to try to capture these moments via the camera or by painting. I am sadden as I will be leaving MD soon and one of the paintings I always wanted to do in plein air was the evening sun going behind the mountain, the back lighting of the trees from the back of my studio. I will continue to take pictures but creating the piece as you see it is so powerful for me. The timing is hard, as you only have an hour at most to capture that light.

I did a pastel of trees years ago with the eveing light viewed from the front of my studio, each evening at 5:00 I would set up outside and paint till the light changed enough to stop for the night. I worked on the piece off and on for a month. Some days the clouds changed my lighting, it was a lovely way to spend my evening. I will miss the mornings with the soft light and the evenings with the back lighting. With time I will find new light shows to spark a new piece of work.
AZ Sky

Frederick, MD

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