So tonight I learned that what I should have done before starting this one was to approach the mosquito spray companies to see if they'd sponsor me. I'm going to be using sooo much of that stuff that their profits are going to go up and they should share them with me... it's only fair!
It didn't get dark as soon as I had expected, dashing my hopes of being inside and eating dinner by 9:30PM! But I was in by 10:20. I couldn't really start painting until almost 8:30. Before that I could still see light in the sky. In the future, I may decide that a nocturne is really "legal" at "Actual" sunset and not "Civil Twilight" a half hour later when it finally gets 'dark' dark.
Photographing these was as hard as it gets. I apologize for the glare.
9/1-1 "Old Jail B&B"
Anyway, I went into downtown Taylors Falls and painted the Old Jail B&B. This was the sight of Taylors Falls first jail. It's always lit up nice and I have wanted to paint it at night for a while now, so I did. The owner came by with his bulldog named 'Jimmy Buffet'??? I have no idea why unless he likes Margaritas, he doesn't look like Jimmy Buffet and I didn't hear him sing anything either???
9/1-2 "Out Back"
From there I went back up to my house, turned off all of the house lights and was treated to a beautiful starry night with the Big Dipper stage center out the back door. It's a pretty dark scene, as a lot of these might end up being, but I like the subtleties that show up in the light on the utility pole and the grass that is being cast by the street light across the road. Even had shooting stars helping me out. There must be a meteor shower, I saw a lot of them.
I discovered that to paint this kind of scene, a naturally lit scene, I have to turn the light on and off in order for my eyes to stay sensitive to the dark. Some have suggested using a red light, I used to do that as a pilot, but I wonder what that is like to paint under? Might try before this is over. But turning off the light worked out real well. I actually ended up just grabbing the light in my hand and blocking it out every once in awhile. When the light is on, I can't see anything of the subject. But when it's blocked or off, in a few seconds the eyes adjust and all of that beautiful subtle light is available for use.
This is where that crazy exercise that I teach in my classes, The Memory Exercise, comes into play. At last, everyone who I've made do that will actually have a reason to use it!!! Without being able to recall what I saw when the light was off, I could not have painted the second piece tonight.