Friday, October 02, 2009

Daily Painting Practice - Painting at night

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh  -
at the Museum of Modern Art  in NY.

As many of you know, one of my art heroes is Vincent Van Gogh.  His vision of a star filled night is one of my favorite paintings of all time. However, after my experience of painting at night in the Northwoods of Wisconsin I know there is no way he painted that outdoors.

This is me attempting my first ever night time plein air painting. I had the crazy idea of trying to  paint the moon over a marsh in Northern night! Our  friends up North let me borrow a head lamp like the ones people who explore caves wear. It was the only light I had and it worked great. However, I would not be alive today if they had not dressed us in mosquito proof clothes including a hat with netting. I couldn't see with the netting so I sprayed myself with  Mosquito repellent and painted like a crazy person as the hungry buggers flew in front of my face.  I apologize for the fuzzy photos but  my blog photographer /wife could not hold the camera still  with the woman eating mosquitoes attacking her.

Oh, did I mention I was standing on a narrow board walk as I painted this. If  I took a step back, it was going to be a mucky walk back to the cabin.

It took me about 10 minutes then I had to call it quits. I was so surprised, the night sky changes as much as daytime.  The star on the right of the moon is actually a planet,  I forgot which one though.
click on the picture to enlarge the image
Moon Rising 
oil on canvas board


Marilyn M. King said...

Peter, your words are worth a thousand paintings! so funny

Carol said...

Legend has it that Vincent stuck candles on his hat to paint at night!

Darren Maurer said...

Vincent was crazier than a loon you know. He was completely nuts. Several eggs short of a dozen. You know that right? lol!!!!!

Sarah said...

crazy or not...I have been night painting too! There must be something in the air Peter, moon madness perhaps, its a great challange tho and I like your results. said...

What a good experience. I signed up for a workshop at Scottsdale Artists School with painter who was to teach how to paint night scenes. The paragraph about him mentioned covering how to mix paints in the dark. Sounded very interesting but the class was cancelled. So I have to keep painting in the daylight.

suw hawkins said...

Just prior to reading this post of yours, I read the one where you tell how to keep people from gathering around while you paint.

This would work on 2 counts: 1.)Nobody's out in the middle of the night and 2.)You would certainly look nuts painting with all that anti-bug gear on.

Love your blog.