Saturday, November 29, 2008

City Glow

Since some of you have commented or contacted me expressing interest in nighttime paintings, I decided to post this one (14" x18"), painted a year ago, and the second of this kind. At the time, I felt challenged by the idea of turning a daytime scene into a night one.

After looking at the reference photos I had, this one offered a lot of possibilities. By the time I was ready to sketch, I knew I wanted this painting to be about city lights behind the hill. I looked at Maxfield Parrish's landscapes for ideas about how to handle the sky, but ended up relying on my memory.
As I was finishing the painting, the large expanse of empty foreground became problematic -- which happens often when I don't plan a painting thoroughly. I thought about all the possible things I could add, but settled for these bales. Now that I look at it, I see so many things that need fixing, but I'm not touching it again. Some paintings are like stepping stones, leading us somewhere. The results aren't always what we expect but in trying we learn something. This piece helped me get rid of the apprehension involved in painting a night scene. Next year, when the weather is nice, I'm hoping to paint at least one entirely outdoors.
Share with me your thoughts on this subject or about something different you've tried, that made a difference to you.


Donna T said...

I really like this, Adriana. We see the glow from a city from our house and it looks just like this. I don't always fix problems with my paintings either ... sometimes the fixes make more problems! I'm thinking of doing tiny little studies for night scenes - maybe 2in. square? - just to get the colors down. I like the idea of sketching in the composition during the day and only dealing with colors at night.

Adriana Meiss said...

Hi Donna, I only fix paintings I'm not completely satisfied with. Sometimes I end up ruining them or loosing interest in them. The ones I'm happy when I have finished them, stay as they are even if months later I find things that need fixing.

I cannot imaging anybody doing studies that tiny with pastels!!
Please post in WC when you have some!

Donna T said...

I was just thinking that if I could get the basic colors down and not worry about composition at all it might help. Just little patches of colors. Could be a headache inducing mess too!

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Well even if it looks imperfect to you, I think this one is gorgeous. I think the composition has worked out really well and I agree - you've captured that city glow really well.

Adriana Meiss said...

Pam, Thanks! I think that when the main objective of the painting has been accomplished, the little things do not matter that much, but it's hard sometimes to separate both.
Nice work you have. I've added you to my blog list.

Gesa said...

Hi! Your nocturnes are lovely, this one is my particular favourite. I've been looking through Wetcanvas on how to paint night scenes and stumbled in here.

Adriana Meiss said...

Hi Gesa, Thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I've checked your site too. I'm fascinated by your Textured Wall #1 and #2!