I’m fixated on sunsets lately. Some are more repesentational; some are more abstract. Some are over the Hudson River; some are over the ocean. Some are on raw canvas; some are on watercolor paper. Some look like watercolor, even though I’m painting with acrylic (fluid acrylic). But they all have to do with sunsets and the always changing colors.
All three of the following paintings of very different sunsets were painted in much the same way. I wet the whole paper with water and then lay in the colors, starting with the lightest and finishing with the darkest. Once that dries, I repeat (again and again) the process, intensifying and darkening selected colors. When I am satisfied with the colors, I look to see if the painting needs any hard edges or accents. Throughout the process, there are an almost infinite number of decisions to be made, many completely unconsciously. (See my final paragraph below.)
So in no particular order …
I was a total bystander, simply waiting and watching as the sunset evolved. There was nothing for me to do … just appreciate the beauty.
This painting is a synthesis of my view of the sunsets over the Palisades and the Hudson River and a caribbean sunset, seen from a beach in Costa Rica.
Abstracting a sunset is not as simple as it might seem. What not to include (boats, birds, people, specific details of the waves, etc.) is at least as important as what to include. Getting the color gradations in the sky and the water is not easy either. And finding the right balance between hard and soft edges is another not so obvious decision. Every sunset I paint includes these and other equally difficult choices. I love it.