30 Day Painting Challenge: Day 17

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30 Day Painting Challenge: Day 17

There is a field behind my house. It is beau­ti­ful, with trees in the dis­tance and rolling hills all around. Many acres of land are in con­ser­va­tion ease­ment near us, so the effect is one of open space and calm seren­i­ty. I nev­er tire of look­ing out of my bed­room win­dow in the morn­ing when I rise, or again at night before I go to bed.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been tak­en with the way the field looks at night, because in the win­ter, it’s par­tic­u­lar­ly evoca­tive. There’s a long­ing, a poignan­cy, a call to some­thing high­er, that I feel when I see it before I go to bed. I walk to the win­dow, and I watch, and I try to remem­ber how every­thing looks, because I’ve been pulled to paint a noc­turne of that scene. It stirs some­thing in me, some­thing deep, some­thing I want … and need … to express.

Part of what makes the scene so com­pelling are the few lights from a house in the dis­tance. All is dark, deep indi­go, the snow undu­lat­ing in dif­fer­ent val­ues of blue when the moon is out, eerie, mys­ti­fy­ing. Con­trast­ed against that mys­tery are small, orange/yellow dots that glow bright and pierce the dark­ness with warmth and hope­ful­ness. I’ve nev­er met the peo­ple who live in that house, and I won­der who they are and what they’re doing. One can’t help but feel a long­ing for con­nec­tion when gaz­ing out upon a scene like this.

The noc­turne real­ly want­ed to be paint­ed. It actu­al­ly haunt­ed me for a cou­ple of days in the stu­dio, strange as that may sound. I ignored its pull, and as a result, my attempts to paint more flo­rals to go with the series I’ve been devel­op­ing failed mis­er­ably. I final­ly real­ized I was beat­en, and began the noc­turne.

Ini­tial­ly, I envi­sioned thick paint and expres­sive ges­ture. Nope. That wasn’t going to hap­pen. The mood didn’t match. I put my mind’s eye in front of the bed­room win­dow gaz­ing out, and allowed the paint­ing to tell me what it need­ed to. This is what it want­ed to be. Qui­et. Elu­sive. Mys­te­ri­ous. Like the long­ings we have in the night.

Day 17 of the 30 Day Paint­ing Chal­lenge is called “Neigh­bors Across the Field.”

By |2015-01-18T21:07:08+00:00January 18th, 2015|30 Paintings in 30 Days, Landscape, Paintings|2 Comments

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  1. Bruce Cotter March 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    I took a lit­tle time to read through your 30 day chal­lenge after spend­ing some time with you this morn­ing. I must say I enjoyed it very much. I don’t know a hell of a lot about paint­ing — although I do remem­ber Alizarin Crim­son from the Dono­van song “Wear Your Love Like Heav­en”!! I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked the “August Dawn, Deer Isle” paint­ing — it’s got a mag­i­cal feel to it I quite enjoy. As well as the series of still lifes of flow­ers — kind of remind­ed me of poet­ry in form — like a vil­lanelle — what hap­pens when you choose to work in a theme and a cer­tain kind of a palette — very inter­est­ing — Sor­ry to see you stopped, but I sus­pect I under­stand why, I hope you pick it up again.

    I real­ly enjoyed our time togeth­er this morn­ing. And I look for­ward to work­ing with you and the BOD at PMW to real­ly move things for­ward this year.

    Take care

    • Dawn Boyer March 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Bruce. Glad to hear you enjoyed the series and that some of the paint­ings reached you the way they did. I love that they remind­ed you of a vil­lanelle! I too enjoyed our meet­ing and look for­ward to work­ing with you as well.

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