Monday, August 9, 2021

Sunset Daylight Leaving a Peek

Sunset Daylight
Leaving a Peek

on a cloudy overcast evening at Seltjarnarness, Iceland
on August 5, 2021, painted August 8, 2021,
7" x 5" (w x h), Daniel Smith, Schmincke Horadam,
and Winsor & Newton watercolors, selected for light fastness
and permanence, using Icelandic glacial melt water, and Uniball
waterproof fade proof ink on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold
press rough 100% cotton extra white watercolor paper
framed, $150, SOLD

This painting elicited a plethora of comments in Facebook postings including, "Cool!; Love it!; Very Dramatic, Bruce!; Beautiful; Cool that you used water from the glacier." And the most intriguing one:

"These colours resonate with Goethe's colour theory and his "sunrise spectrum". The same way of looking at colour as Turner did in his later years." -Saraja Saraja, Wairoa, New Zealand

It prompted my curiosity.

Goethe's Color Theory: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, both a writer and a scientist, published his 1,400-page essay on color in 1810. "Goethe realizes that the sensations of color reaching our brain are also shaped by our perception — by the mechanics of human vision and by the way our brains process information. Therefore, according to Goethe, what we see of an object depends upon the object, the lighting and our perception. Above all, Goethe appreciates that the sensation of complementary colors does not originate physically from the actions of light on our eyes but perceptually from the actions of our visual system." (Source HERE)

So, Goethe sees colors as formed from the interplay between dark and light, unlike Isaac Newton's theories that color is composed of white light and can be reduced down to the varies colors, as with a prism.

Okay, if Goethe sees it this way, news to me. I simply paint. And whoa, a Joseph Mallord William Turner reference? "The same way of looking at colour as Turner did in his later years."  So I checked out Turner sunsets painted when he was 65-year-old or older.

Sunset Over the Lagoon Near Venice
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), British
Gouache on paper, 7" x 11" (w x h), 1840
Tate Museum, London, England

Hmm, looking at this I note the strong orange, and a light touch of the warm blue in the sky and the cool ultramarine blue in the water. Turner has a light approach here, as the scene likely was, while I was in a almost completely overcast dark cloud.

Sunset Amid Dark Clouds Over the Sea
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), British
Watercolor and chalk on paper, 13" x 9" (w x h), circa 1845
Tate Museum, London, England
(This was among the works of art damaged during the 1928 Thames flood lower floor of the Tate Gallery, the central part of the drawing is noticeably blotted.)

Ah, the dark clouds, and a sliver of round sun, the darkness present as with my watercolor.

I simply paint, as I'm sure Turner did. And I find that the more I think about a painting before I start, working it out in my mind, I tend to go in the direction I want as I explore with my brushes...

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Facebook posting and comment between an art friend, a fabulous true artist and myself, both paintings, mine and hers, coincidentally posted August 9, 2021:

Elizabeth Kelley Erickson:

Totem of sunsets inspired by mudflats by Quoddy Head.

Bruce McMillan:
Whoa... can't believe that I just posted this... Sunset Daylight Leaving a Peek... Seltjarnarness, Iceland... the closest part of Iceland to Maine... and Quoddy Head is the closest part of the US and Maine to Iceland... we must run into each other painting at Cape Porpoise.

Elizabeth Kelley Erickson:
That's phenomenal!

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