Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super Strawberry Moon

The weather forecast called for a thunderstorm at 8 pm but, at 7:45 the eastern sky was somewhat clear and I wasn't going to let the dark clouds building in west deter me.  There was a moonrise to paint!

I was also excited to try out my new plein air setup.
I've been wanting to paint larger pieces and on single sheets of watercolor paper.  I found this case at Staples.  It has a clip to hold paper on the outside and opens to hold more paper and whatever inside.
click to enlarge
I made an alteration to the cover by sticking down a clip that requires paper to have two holes punched into one side.  It's held in place with duct tape.  I tore down 2 full sheets of watercolor paper into 8.5 x 11 sheets.  I also cut a piece of acetate a bit larger than 8.5 x 11 so it would protect the paper.  White artist tape is securing the bottom of the acetate.

When I'm ready to paint, I undo the clips, lift off the acetate to get a single sheet, replace the acetate over the extra sheets, put the single sheet over the acetate and close the clip.  The right side of the container makes a great support for my palette, brushes, paper toweling and whatever else lands there.  It's very easy to hold in my lap :)

The moonrise was about the palest I've seen!  It was still quite light out and I could barely see the white moon.  Wow, white!  Our air must be very clean from all the storms we've had lately.  Usually the moon is a beautiful orange when rising. By the time I got the sky laid in, clouds half covered the moon.  It never reappeared while I sat there painting. The sky was so dull that the incoming tidal water was a dull brown green.  All the green in the foreground and up to the tree line is water!  Just a wee bit of marsh sand and black needle rush with other vegetation in the lower middle of this scene.  I felt deflated with such a pale moon and all the clouds.

Today, I'm happy with how the marsh and trees turned out.  What was your moonrise like?

10 comments:

  1. At least you got to see the moon! ... but I did the two nights leading up to the full moon, but not last night. All I could see was a very faint glow trying to shine through clouds. At this time of year the moon shines right on me in bed when it is full; but not during the winter months when the earth tips differently.

    I like you new sketching equiptment. Good idea.


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    1. Indeed, Elva! Don't you just love waking up drench in moonlight? We have transom windows in our MBR and in early spring the angle of the moon is just right to shine on in. Aren't we lucky :)

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  2. This is gorgeous! I think the pale sky adds a certain mystery. I am intrigued by your set-up, it looks very practical. We drove through our neighborhood, over the hill, in order to get a clear view of the moon, and took photos. The photos are not as interesting as the moon was in reality. Our view was also partially obscured by clouds that created a soft rainbow around the moon. And we did manage to worry a neighbor who thought we must be having car trouble to have stopped by the side of the road!

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    1. Thank you, Ann! I know, photo's just don''t capture what we see with our hearts :) Haha... I had a lady journey all the way out on the golf course one time to see if our cart had broken down. No... just painting the moon. She still looked very confused!

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  3. Pam,
    Lovely moon painting, as always! Do you like the single page vs painting in a journal? I saw the moon rise behind the trees on the mountain for only a minute before the clouds blocked it out for a couple hours, but it was big and yellow!

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    1. Thanks, Diana! I was expecting a colorful moon... a lovely yellow would have been nice. My niece in New England said it was pink.

      For years my journal has been unbound. I started with single sheets of 5.5x7.5 sheets that I'd two hole punch and hold together with binder rings. Then, with great intentions to bind... I began using sheets of 11 x 15 wc paper folded in half. I know have 3 years worth of journals that need to be bound. Along came Stillman & Birn journals which I absolutely love working in but I have a devil of a time scanning and photographing my pages. I love to create note cards from my journal pages so I need to get a good quality reproduction.... thus back to the single sheet. So basically, it's a scanning thing :)

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  4. This month it was a golden orange color - very pretty and big and bright in the sky. I enjoyed every night leading up to the big event and was still ooohing and aahing last night :) Sorry this month's beauty was shy in your area.

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    1. Your view of the moon sounds lovely. In years to come when I look back through my journal pages, I know I'll be happy to have captured this pale moon. It tells this day's nature story and that's what I aim to do :)

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  5. Knew you'd be out painting too! My moon was golden and reflected on the marsh- briefly! I like the new painting set up- especially the lip it it so you don't loose things off the edge in the dark.
    Laura

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    1. Hey.... how did you get a golden moon. We aren't that far away :) Glad you are out there painting!!

      Really am enjoying the new setup. Wait till you see the bag I'm making for it...

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