Tuesday night the San Luis Valley Painters met at the marsh north of Alamosa, facing Mt. Blanca to paint the full moon rise as the sun set. The evening was a little breezy but not bad enough to keep us from painting. At the top is my 6"x 12", Moonglow.
At 6pm it still seemed like broad daylight and hard to get a handle on what values would be like. Evening phenomena is like that - an hour of hanging around and 10 minutes of frantic painting. I take time while the light is good to layout my composition, work the shapes and try to anticipate where the moon will pop up. Some decisions should be made ahead of time, like: do I want to keep the foreground lit with the setting sun, or dark indicating the sun has set? - Will I use the alpen glow when it lights the mountain, - if so my foreground will be dark. Sometimes, you find yourself just standing there watching it all happen - with out a clue. That's not all bad - the first time - but going out to see the sun set, in a place where you can see the horizon is a good way to observe what happens in the landscape. Nothing can take the place of direct observation.
David Montgomery checks out the scene through his viewer and in the other photos Dee Bartee, Dave Roepke, Beth Keck, and Judith Greenwood paint by the water's edge.
This marsh is one of my favorite places to paint and summer evenings are stunning as the sun sets and Mt. Blanca lights up with alpen glow. The water is a destination for migrating birds of all types and in the Spring the water can be covered with Sandhill Cranes.
I am a member of the PAPNM (Plein Air Painters of New Mexico) and all over New Mexico and Colorado painters were out to paint this event. To see more "MoonGlow" paintings click on the link to the PAPNM wesite.