On Tuesday, eastern Washington State experienced what they have dubbed an "historic" windstorm. We lost power about 5:30 pm. When we learned the extent of the damage in town, we knew we would be without power for quite a while. That also means no water. With a well powered by electricity, one's living conditions certainly change.
I found myself walking into a darkened room and hitting the light switch. Wanting to see better, I didn't think, I just did. I expected the light to be there. It wasn't.
If I might stretch an analogy, I wonder how many times I work on a painting and expect the light to be there. I don't make a conscious effort to create the light in the piece. Maybe I think my subconscious will just make it happen. Sometimes that is true. And other times I need to spend some time to make sure the light I see in the scene in my head is translated into paint.
In the piece below, I was thinking about how I could convey that gorgeous light on snow. I started with a tan colored gesso to give an underlying warmth. The snow has a lot of warm blues and I pushed the color around to give a softness to the background. The "white" is titanium white with a little cadmium orange and cadmium yellow deep. Even though a whitetail deer's coat turns gray in the winter, with just the right light on her, she can glow a stunning orange-y brown. The shadow on the young deer in the foreground keeps his coat gray.
6" X 6"
This painting is in the
Holiday Miniature Show
Pacific Flyway Gallery, Spokane Valley WA
Surprisingly, our power, and hence our lights, returned this afternoon. We were prepared for longer but are grateful to return to the light. For a time, I will think about losing power every time I flip a switch - until having light will once again become second nature.
I hope I never take the light in my paintings for granted and I will strive on each and every piece to keep the lights on.