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The transit of Venus has been today’s big event. An oblique connection here, through the sun (sunset?) The images were beautiful, if a bit like watching paint dry. Do artists ever do that?
Sometimes it seems the more exquisite the beauty, the more elusive the moment.
This is the particular challenge of capturing a sunset on canvas. At one level it is a trite subject. An overdone cliche. As a colour study it is interesting if not downright difficult!
With digital photographs and a strong memory of the overall visual impact, I had a go. It had been one of the hottest summer afternoons with a very calm sea which turned palest silver-blue just before sundown. After the sun had set, the sky coloured softly with warm orange-pinks but the reflections on the water were much more powerful because of the juxtaposition of colours. The effect was electric.
For painting the water I used tints of icy aqua (ultramarine with a touch of pthalo turquoise for the silver blue) alongside slashes of clear apricot (orange with white) . In the dusk, the soft grey sand along the top of the sandhill fringed the view. The sky was a bit smoggy after the still hot day. Perhaps I could have done more work on the foreground and background but before that happened I gave this painting to some friends who had enjoyed many sunsets here before they moved away. I am sure it’s the water they look at. I hope so.
So, do artists ever watch paint dry?