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Painting Sunset and the Full Moon


I set up behind my car on the edge of the beach where open the view of the sky was the best.  I had to paint really fast as the setting sun and the low light lit the sides of the billowing clouds as they drifted out over the ocean. It was awesome!  The light was incredible, the colors were beautiful . Photo: Marcus Gale

PAINTING LATE LIGHT AND INTO THE DARK

I love painting around sunset and after sun set, during the hours of dusk and early darkness. It is my favorite time to paint. I often try to paint get out on location to paint on the evening of the full moon if I can schedule it. With the August full moon arriving on Thursday night I went down to the beach to wait for it.  I wasn’t alone. All kinds of people arrived to watch the full moon rise over the Atlantic. It was warm and calm, it looked like it was going to be a perfect evening to paint.  Then a huge, dark bank of clouds appeared in the west and started moving overhead. The weather report had threatened a slight chance of showers. I ignored it.  From past experience I’ve learned that when clouds hit the cool ocean air along the coastline they usually break up and disappear. I’ve often painted along the coast under clear blue skies while watching thunder storms dump rain onto the land and water to the north and south of me.

This didn’t happen that night. The clouds did break up and dissolve out over the water but not over my head. I rapidly painted the sun light on the tops of the clouds sailing out to sea. But the dark clouds over my head started dropping rain. Out came the umbrellas! I kept my paints and palette dry. The shower only lasted for five minutes. I waited it out and as soon as the rain moved on I was ready to get back to painting the moon rise that was scheduled to happen in a few minutes. Well, that wasn’t happening either. The big bunch of rain clouds did not break up out over the ocean but stayed a solid mass. What? As the big, pink moon rose over the water we caught a one minute glimpse of it  before it disappeared up into the blue gray mass of clouds. As it moved higher in  the sky you could see bits and pieces of it for a few seconds before it completely disappeared into the ceiling of clouds. Then it was gone. So much for a painting of the moon rising. This is totally the nature of plein air painting ! You can plan and only hope that the opportunity will appear. 
“Sunset Cloud,sketch” 8×14″, Oil. When the cloud shelf started to break up over the ocean I could see the towering tops of the clouds lit by the low sun. I had to paint really fast as this light would only last about 15 minutes. People would stop and try to talk to me but it was impossible for me to even glance in their direction!  Photo: Mary Byrom.

STARTING IN SEPTEMBER !  NEW SEACOAST PLEIN AIR CLASS SESSION STARTS SEPT 6TH !

NEW SEPTEMBER PLEIN AIR CLASS  ~ TUESDAY AFTERNOONS ON THE SEACOAST
This class starts Tuesday, September 6th, 2-5pm, and runs for 6 weeks.  If you want to attend this plein air class Please let me know ASAP to reserve your spot.   Space is limited. Advanced registration is suggested.  Six week session~ $220
Locations : EACH WEEK A NEW LOCATION –  Awesome locations in the Seacoast region. Register for 6 week session here.


“Moon Rise,” sketch. 12×14″ pastel. The clouds along the horizon completely blocked all the light from the rising moon. I packed up my paints and started heading home. As we drove north along the beach the clouds broke and the moon light came through. I stopped and pulled out my sketchbook and sketched away as the clouds drifted across the sky. The light was beautiful.  Photo: Mary Byrom

AUGUST EVENTS

BY THE SEA  BY THE SEA GARDEN TOUR
SUNDAY AUGUST 28TH
3:30-7:00 PM
MARGINAL WAY PRESERVATION FUND
OGUNQUIT, MAINE
An invitational event – Ogunquit Plein Air, hosted by the Marginal Way Preservation Fund. A small group of plein air artists will be painting in selected locations along the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. A wet paint sale will be held on the lawn of the Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit, Maine from 3:30-7:00 pm. Tickets to the event may be purchased here.

OCTOBER PLEIN AIR CLASS IN NH LAKES REGION

A 6 week plein air class in the NH Lakes region (Laconia area) is beginning October 13th – Nov 17th. Registration is now open. If you are interested in participating in this class please contact me.
This class is a rare opportunity to study with me in the mountains. It is totally gorgeous in this area in the fall !