Monday, July 1, 2013

Moon Stamp

Since I was little I talked to the moon.  The moon helps anyplace seem like home.  I feel comfort of the moon watching over me even when I can't see it.

Last week there was a "super moon"  where the moon is very close in its elliptical orbit.  I knew I wanted to do a stamp with the moon, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  On Saturday, I thought about painting the moon, but Adam pointed out that one more day would be the official super moon.  However, if I did it Sunday night, I knew that the next eight hour day of physics classes would be a challenge.  But what is art without suffering, eh?  The only hinderance to tomorrow may be if there was cloud cover, at this both Adam and I laughed.

Sunday afternoon, I set out my easel, canvas, and scope.  I thought about what style I wanted to paint in.  I've been working fairly realistically, which is safe for me.  Drawing with a unique approach bares one's soul and therefore is much more nerve-wracking.   However, I knew late at night only moonlight would restrict my attention to detail, so I needed to develop a different approach.  I also knew my color sense would be gone, so I premixed four greens and blues and added a dollop of white off to the side.  I was ready.

At 10 pm I headed out to start painting, and to my dismay - clouds.  I set my alarm for midnight.

Bzzz!  Bzzz!  Clouds yet again.  I set my alarm for 2 am.

Bzzz!  Bzzz!  Moonbeams dappled the carpet and I slinked out the back door.

First the face of the canvas and the face of the moon were direct to me, but I could not see the canvas at all as it was shadowed.  I turned the canvas, so the moonlight washed over it.  I could see quite clearly and set to painting while listening to Pete Droge.  The four colors I had mixed earlier were all the exact same value range, and I had no clue which was which.  All I could see was gray and white.

I tried looking through the scope at the moon to get more details, but it was so bright, it took nearly a minute for my eyes to adjust to see the canvas again.  I grabbed some binoculars instead.  The moon was also bright through them, but there was better turn around time.

I layered circles upon circles.  Some still wet, some dry, and continuously referenced the moon.  About 3:30 am I crawled back in bed.

The next day, I was a zombie.  But a contented zombie.

I like that when I'm far away (or squint) it looks just like the moon, but up close the brushwork is apparent.  I credit my Ma for recognizing that this should be a forever stamp!


  1. Oh, I love squinting at it! You should paste a copy of this post onto the back of the canvas...and sign it...great beginning to its provenance!

  2. Love it. And the story behind it.