Once again, I was back to my favorite oils, cold wax, and palette knives. I sort of based Moon Glow on a previous painting that had sold back in June. Though I made several changes to the scene, the colors used are pretty much the same as the earlier painting. I don’t know about you, but I love pthalo blue for night scenes.
I have to say… I really like how this one turned out. If I were a wolf, I would probably live around here so I could howl at the moon every night. Fauna, flora, people, (even mythical creatures) are affected by the magic of the moon. Artists and authors often paint and write with the moon as part of the visual or verbal story.
So, what’s the story here?
As the viewer, you get to decide. Are you out on a night hike and discover the magic of the moon on the water? Are you dreaming of a moonlight encounter? Are you looking through the eyes of a bird flying through the night sky? Make it your story.
For me, as it developed, I see myself standing on the side of a small hill, experiencing the calming effect of a moonlit sky on the landscape below. I am bathing in the moon’s glow. I am feeling at peace with my surroundings. In the distance, I hear an owl calling out.
The magic of the moon is calling… can you hear it?
Well, here we go again. I had been on a moon kick… sort of still am… because moons are magical! I will always find time to paint something with a moon in it.
So…. this painting got it’s start when I met up with some artistic friends. I had brought some slow drying acrylics (Golden, if you’re curious) because I didn’t want to mess with wax and oils that morning. Anyway, I got to thinking about 1) some images I had seen of canyons and towering rock formations as well as 2) using a touch of reds in cloud paintings which I had seen another painter do to their clouds. So…. I decided to see what I could come up with using a limited palette and (eek!) brushes. It was just playtime but I kind of liked the final result which happened several days later when I continued to play with it some more.
Magic of the Moon: Canyon Moon is how I envisioned how it might appear if I was standing somewhere at the base of a canyon looking up at the moon shining down. There are probably hundreds of paintings based on this premise or actual photos/renditions of a real place. Anyway… since I wanted to have some red in the sky, I painted the canyon walls using both reds and blues. The base of the canyon looked too empty, so after some debate with myself, (water? trees? water and trees? campsite?) I decided to just add the trees.
I like to imagine that somewhere in those trees, a wolf is getting ready to emerge and sing his night song. His own tribute to the magic of the moon.
The second painting in The Magic of the Moon series (I guess it’s a series… or not) took me back to the mediums and technique I most love. Oils, cold wax, and palette knives.
Moon Flight is a painting purely from the imagination. All I knew for sure was that I wanted a moon, clouds, and water. As it evolved, I let the perceived magic of the moon illuminate the land, the sky, and bathe the water with bright light. The birds were added when I realized there should be more to this story. It wasn’t just about the moon. There needed to be a second subject. Birds. Birds on their way to a secure place to settle down for the night. Nature in harmony. I lowered the sky and added the limbs in the foreground.
Now my moon had a purpose other than just reflecting light to a sleeping landscape. It was the nightlight in the sky providing a safer passage to the creatures of the day as they made their way through the dark.
I really enjoyed painting this one and love that it found a home with a couple who enjoyed it as well. They also saw and felt what I did while creating it. The magic of the moon is more than just visual. There is purpose as well.
Doesn’t have to be at night either. Even daytime sightings have an effect on me. Maybe it all goes back to childhood when stories and imagination made such an impact on me. Or maybe I am just a child of the moon. More drawn to this magical orb in the sky than I am to the sun in it’s various appearances. Maybe that’s why I often feel the need to add a moon to many of my landscapes… even if it is just a hint of one off in the distance when it hasn’t made it’s full exit or full entrance to the sky. The magic of the moon is real to me. Ok, let’s just say it’s very appealing. (I wouldn’t want you to think I dance around half naked at night waving and chanting. However, if that is something YOU do, I’m not judging.)
Science tells us that the moon does indeed have an effect on our natural world, including us. History tells us it has indeed been a subject of awe and adoration to many cultures. But this missive is not about science or history, this is about painting and trying to capture the magic of that reflective rock in the sky. The magic of the moon.
In the painting Moon Surf, I was remembering the many nights from various vacations on the Alabama and Florida coast. Nights with the moon shining down on the water, the soft glow of drifting clouds embracing the moonlight, and the glorious soothing sounds of the waves coming on shore. Maybe for you, it brings back a memory from another place, a different setting.
Unlike the majority of my landscapes/seascapes, this one was done using acrylics (gasp!) and brushes (double gasp!). If you don’t know, I prefer to use palette knives and now I mostly use oil paint. I rarely take a painting done with brushes and acrylic to the gallery.