Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Up Before Dawn

"Bloom, Riviera Marina" (oil on linen, 16"x20")
After a week in paradise, I need a vacation. I was once again back in beautiful Tequesta, Florida for the Lighthouse Art Center's 4th Annual Plein Air Festival. I love everything about this place - perfect weather, beautiful boats, palm trees, but most of all, I love the light.

No matter where we are, the light is always different, and the Atlantic Coast of Florida is no exception. When that sun breaks the horizon in the morning, it's an explosion of color. The sunrise blasts through the clouds and rakes intense warm colors across everything it touches.

"Riverbend Breeze" (oil on linen, 14"x18")

It was for this reason, that I found myself waking each day at 4:30 am, so that I could get where I wanted to be to catch the first rays of the day. The moment lasts for about 15 minutes, and then it's over. I set up in the dim morning twilight, paint in the darks areas and wait to see what the light will do when it arrives. Sometimes, it hits exactly where I expected, and sometimes the entire theme of a picture changes.

I had no idea that the clouds would reflect so prominently in the water as I began painting this scene in Port Salerno. "The Sky In Port" (oil on linen, 14"x18").

That's not to say that I don't paint during the height of the day. Sometimes some very quirky scenes present themselves. I find myself painting all day. Who says the life of a painter is easy?

This suddenly happened. I only had a matter of minutes to capture the scene.
"Winter, Juno Beach" (oil on linen, 12"x16")