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!