Thursday, December 14, 2017

Geminids Meteor Shower … or is it Rain?

Monday, 30th October_Thursday, 14th December, 2017; Arches N.P., Utah.

“Last Light on the La Sals”
(from Arches National Park, Utah)
Oil on Pannelli Telati Panel
3½” x 9¼”

(Take Note: for those of you who have signed up to be notified by email of new postings to this blog, you have been receiving not just a notification, but an actual copy of the new blog posting as the email.  As this does not show the images of the paintings in the best possible light, you should click on the title of the latest blog posting at the top of the post, and not the title of the painting itself; this will open up the actual blog itself, and you may then enjoy the paintings at their best.)

Views of the La Sal Mountains I see quite often upon my travels about this area, and this particular view, more than most and in different lights, as it is on my way to and from my camp.  This evening depicted here was one of the best, so I couldn’t let it pass.  At the bottom of this post you will note that the usual pigments I have been using recently are used here, with the addition of Ceruse, a soft unassuming Lead White, which mixes well without overpowering the pigments Rembrandt used Ceruse.  I find it interesting that this quiet evening used the same colours as the bright mid-day colours of the last posting.  No extra photographs posted this time as I need to get away from the library earlier today, so enjoy the painting.

So … stars and things astronomical … well, the Geminid Meteor Shower is one that I have always ignored, usually because I have been in cloudy Winter climes much of my past, but also because it’s usually just darn cold.  However this year I decided to spend a little time observing it on its peak night, which was last night, before turning in, since I have been experiencing pristine desert skies, at altitude, and I’m already dressed for the cold.  So of course the overcast rolled in just before Sundown, and even had a twenty minute shower of the wrong kind (rain!!!), AT BEDTIME, the same time I thought I would be watching a shower of METEORS!!!  I awoke at 5 AM to clear skies an while I was dressing (a long process lying in a prone position, and putting on layer after layer for cold protection, I did see nine Geminids, out my SUV window facing northeast, one very bright and long. I have seen several Geminids each of the preceding nights, but wished to compare those nights to the peak night.  Alas, t’was not to be.

It has been getting into the high 40’s Fahrenheit, for about 10 days now, with the night-time temperatures down into the teens, so I guess it’s Winter now.  I shall be moving slowly south soon, but I still have another painting I want to complete here, and then there is part of Canyonlands National Park to see before I leave the Moab area, so a few days yet … can’t believe I’ve been here as long as I have, but the landscape here is so interesting.  Also with these short Winter days, my daily painting time is so limited.  Still, as one of my Art masters used to say … press on.

The Pigments used in the painting are:

Imprimatura & Drawing: Rublev Ercolano Red;

Pigments: W&N Cerulean, Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Yellow Pale & Orange;

Rublev: Ercolano Red, Purple Ochre, Orange Molybdate, Lead White #2, Ceruse.

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