A little night music…

TM8176 Nocturne #1 - Starry Night 24x24 oil

The Pond Series continues…and the musical themes are beginning to emerge in this new painting, completed this week after months in convoluted development. Trees and stars are reflected on the surface of a pond with a few ripples on the upper right. The moon is hiding.

Technical painting notes – So what is the back story? The painting started months ago as a view across my pond on a bright spring day, but went no where – no magic at all – so I sanded most of it off and started another painting on the panel, this time a larger cosmos painting – which also ran into difficulty after a few weeks, so I sanded the panel again and put it aside. It was beginning to feel jinxed. Last week, I looked at the panel with thoughts of sanding it fully and repriming it.  But the vestiges of trees and dark abstract textures started to look interesting. Having just completed Fogged Morning at the Pond I was beginning to see my pond in new ways, and the images left on the panel suggested a night view. Listening to a lot of Chopin’s Nocturnes didn’t hurt.

I started reworking the panel by washing a translucent blue gray into the areas of light to suggest the moonlit sky. With a fine brush and a light touch I enhanced some of the trees that already seemed to be reflected in the water, emphasizing some darks and bringing up a bit of light. I also glazed a pale green and violet into the water, then added the ripples in the upper right to establish a planar surface. Most of the stars were already in place (showing through from the panel’s “cosmos” phase). I added a few more by mixing white paint with a touch of paint thinner and alkyd medium, dipping an old nylon watercolor brush into the paint, then tapping the brush against a ruler high above the panel. I wanted the serendipity of chance placement. Thank you Chopin!

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