Thursday, January 20, 2011

Nanaimo by Moonlight

Today I started a new painting. My Newcastle gap painting is still very wet - so needs to sit for a while.

My new painting is going to be a picture of the Nanaimo waterfront in the moonlight. So far I have only put on a very diluted wash of oil paint and turpentine but I think it is already very cool. Doing this under painting reminded me of the way Henry does finger painting. What fun!

So tonight, after the Power Squadron course, I sloshed on a lot of paint and covered the whole 24x30 inch canvas. I used a pretty big brush - but I don't know the number. My colours were the same as the ones I'm using in my gap painting - so far: paynes gray, cobalt blue hue, cerrulean blue, cadmium yellow pale hue, and permanent alazarin crimson and titanium white. In my gap painting I'm also using cadmium red light and yellow ochre. I will likely use some of those colours in this moonlight painting when I get further along. (So much blue - the painting after this one is gong to be green!)

The scene is the view from the anchorage at Mark Bay on Newcastle Island. It is based on a two photos I took last August. Nanaimo looked beautiful with mountains in the distance. However, the moon was actually further to the south - shining over the opening between Gallows Point and the Nanaimo Boat Basin. I think the moon shone over Nanaimo later that night - though by then it was probably higher in the sky. Anyway - this is a painting of what I remember - not what actually happened.

Here is the composite photo I am using as my inspiration. It is tacked on a piece of cardboard.

Starting a new painting is a bit like jumping out of an airplane. (Not that I have ever done that!) I still have very little idea of what is going to happen - and just jump in with gay abandon - hoping I will notice the happy accidents as I go along and have the good fortune to keep them and end up with a painting that I like.

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