Sunday, June 12, 2011
I will start on a painting based on this photograph with additions from several others taken last month when I return to Delaware. It will be the third 32" x 40" pastel painting of an Atlantic Sunrise. The first was a commission, the second waits on my drawing table to be packed and taken to Delaware. I’ve also done one very small 8” x 8” pastel Atlantic Sunrise. As I write I can hear my 2nd year undergraduate painting professor tell the studio class, “Whatever you do, don’t paint sunsets and sunrises. You can’t outdo the real thing, and the results will be so horribly trite no matter how good you are.” I actually passed that bit of idiotic wisdom on to a student of mine once, and it came back to haunt me years latter, when as an adult the student told me how disappointed he was by my statement. Of course I can’t do a better job than the original creator, but I can freeze a moment in time, and make it my own by adding those things - like richer, brighter colors, the full moon perhaps, a pelican, a distortion and/ or a swirl to clouds in front of the sun, a splash in the water, - that I see as most important to the image. So, here I am a repentant Post Postmodern old fart painting trite sunrises, and actually being happy with the results.
I like the way the sun breached the horizon in this image, making a red-orange burst on the horizon. Also, I’m looking forward to rendering the lavender and red-violet reflections of that sunburst on the dark aqua colored water. It’s cool how a seagull happened to fly in from the edge of the framed image just as I pressed the shutter button. I will look at other sunrise photographs I've taken for that something special to add, and I want a thin sliver of a silver moon somewhere in the actual painting. All that will happen next week after the eleven hundred mile trek to Delaware.