When I am searching for a motif I seek out master painters from the past who've inspired me. When I saw this view of the Santa Barbara harbor entrance I thought of Whistler. I contemplate how he would have painted the scene were he alive today?
Knowing he had a unique way of 'creeping up' on the development of his art work; (especially when approacing the quality of the paintings' surface), I decided to approach it the same way. Whistler would recommend that one should apply paint to the surface of the canvas as if it were... "Like Breath on glass".
I think this is one of the keys to creating great mood and mystery to a painting; slow surface development. I kept this in mind as I painted the moonrise on this one cloudless night. The clouds, or fog, in this painting, are out of my imagination!
As a result of continuous glazing of the surface, in order to achieve a desired effect, the challenge was to work on the painting without overworking it, and to achieve correct relationships between all the color notes, without the painting looking, 'labored'.
The colors I used this time were based on a nocturne painting by Whistler; Silvery Blue-grays developed from mixing cobalt blue and Raw Umber, painted on an under painting of Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Umber. The Moon was achieved using a variation of Naples Yellow, White, and a tinge of cad orange. Pure colors were used for the lights on Stearns Wharf. I guess June Gloom never looked better!
June Moonrise, oil 2009, Santa Barbara 13x32
Painting subject to prior sale