Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Squeezing the day

I have a very busy life, like many people.  I have a full time job, out of hours meetings, private art lessons to teach, chores, etc etc.  At this time of year, I see images as I go about my business that I store away mentally for future use.  I always forget to take the camera with me, or its just not convenient to stop in the middle of the highway and snap an image without other drivers getting VERY upset with me.  But I need to find time - or make time - to capture some of these images.

Within the city there are lots of little places and things that I glimpse in passing.  The colour of light on snow.  A clump of bushes.  Ancient trees holding up the ice and snow to the heavens.  Early morning pinks and yellows on blue, blue ocean water.The night sky against the trees and fields on my way home.

So I have decided that at least 3 times a week I must get out at some point in the daylight hours to capture some of what I see.  It may be simple sketches, photographs or colour studies, but it needs to be done. I need that body of live work to gain inspiration from.

Tonight, inspiration came from refinding an image of the northern lights.  We don't often see them this far south in Newfoundland but at times the sky lights up and dances in reds and greens.  I tried to take this photo quickly before they disappeared.  I didn't have time to think about a tripod or long exposures but the colour is there.  And so is my memory of them.  I translated that onto paper, using a slightly uncooperative frost outside to swirl the sky, combined with an ancient set of rock cliffs against a snow covered field. 


Sandy Maudlin said...

What a beautiful painting, too. The best Northern Lights I ever saw were at night in a plane as we headed past Greenland to London. Curtains of greens and violets swept across the sky. It was incredibly beautiful, and I couldn't take my eyes away to grab the camera. Five minutes of pure moving light! You're so lucky to live close enough to see them occasionally. Keep that camera handy and have fun recording.

Stacy said...

Jeanette, I also seem to see images when I don't have the ability to stop and capture them. Today I was squeezing in some errands before picking up the kids at school and I saw one. The sky was moody blues and grays, but the winter field was almost yellow beneath it. Combined with the bare trees reaching toward the clouds and I was wishing for my watercolor sketching pans. But no such luck.
Lovely painting! Someday I hope to see the northern lights. I agree with Sandy that you are lucky to be able to see them from your property.

sue said...

Beautiful, Jeanette, on all counts! Thanks for showing me what that looks like. amazing!

Gary said...

Great post Jeanette. Like you I am always looking at my world as possible images for painting - and usually do not have my camera - misting horses spotlighted in a break in the clouds with a winter gray sky behind them...saw the northern lights in Alaska a long time ago and will never forget it. Lovely watercolor.

RHCarpenter said...

I had to laugh at your "this far south" comment about...Newfoundland! ha ha That's not south to me :) I saw the Northern Lights once - in central Indiana. I was sure it was an alien attack and kept saying to myself, as I drove a backroad on the way home at night, "What IS that? What IS that?" I felt like everything had become surreal. It was mostly green that night.