ANNOUNCEMENT FOR ANYONE FOLLOWING THIS MARATHON: I will be attending a wedding Saturday, September 4th and MAY NOT be able to paint. If I can't, I will make it up in the next couple of days. Hey... it's Labor Day weekend!!!
After a day of intermittent rain, wind and generally chilly weather, tonight turned out to be a beautiful one at 51ºF and almost no wind. I'll confess to being worried that I was going to freeze out there so I donned the long underwear, sweater and even gloves and headed down to the Interstate Park on the Minnesota side to paint the first piece of the night. It didn't disappoint.
* FYI* I have solved the blinding light situation!!! This is big news for anyone wanting to paint nocturnes. I've had a number of great suggestions from many of you, including what I will call the 'Pirate Solution'. That being a patch over one eye to "save" it for night vision. That one is a good idea but might get me locked into a twisted tangle of arms, legs, brushes and easel due to really bad coordination at night!
The solution was so simple... GET THE LIGHT HIGHER THAN YOUR VISION!!! This came to me this afternoon. Clamp a piece of wood (1/4"x1") in some way to your easel. I use an EasyL so all I need to do is use two small clamps and clamp it to the back side, the flanges that hold the panels in the back. The 'stick' is about 3' long. Then clamp your book light to that high enough to be out of your vision, but low enough to still illuminate the panel and palette. I wore a baseball cap so that the bill would block the light too. This worked better than I could have imagined. I could see the subject and still see the panel without being 'night blinded'.
9/3-1 'Taylors Falls Queen Rounding the Bend'
The painting tonight started just after sunset but before civil twilight and complete darkness. I was up so late last night that I wanted to end tonight a little earlier. And I also wanted to paint a 'naturally lit' setting for this one. About the time I was starting to block in the shapes and thinking "Okay, this is peaceful but a little bit boring"... a bright light appears down river at the first bend I can see. Suddenly I'm blinded by a spot light and realize it's the river boat 'Taylors Falls Queen' coming up river from one of it's nightly runs. PERFECT! That becomes the focal point of my otherwise empty scene. Taylors Falls has two of these boats, the TF Queen and the TF Princess that run regularly scheduled cruises including dinner cruises.
9/3-2 'Weber in Waiting'
After the being on the river I came back to my house to see what I could see to paint. The skies tonight were brilliant, and tempting, with all of the stars showing! I resisted that temptation and found what I thought was an interesting scene right out my back porch. My Weber grill waiting to do it's magic. Mmmmmm....