Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Again Katherine is the inspiration for my artistic musing.  Her blog today included a sketch of ‘ clock and hand’ has set me thinking about ‘moments in time’ and the question of how do we as artists capture those special moments in time.

A special light effect that lasts only moments, a certain way a person tilts their head for just a moment; a momentary smile. I have struggled with this and am still struggling. I look at many other artists and know I am lacking; but here for your enjoyment are a few of my moments.

Hoar frost on the twigs and branches of trees along a northern Ontario lake at day break captured my mind and spirit. It was much too cold to stand outdoors and paint so I captured with a photograph. I am so familiar with this scene that the snapshot was all I needed to return me to that moment in time. Didn’t quite do it justice -  didn't translate the sparkle and glow of this scene.  I  may have to return to it again on another canvas identifying methods to translate the light and glow in this scene. 

A moment captured plein aire was Reverie. I set up in the dunes and painted. It was so serene and beautiful, a moment of absolute peace. This one has a special light I couldn’t have recreated in the studio.

Another moment, and this had to be captured first with a photograph and a return to the site to sketch the landscape. The sunset was so quick and momentarily gone I had to rely on the photograph for colour.

Quite frequently I will sketch outdoors, trying to capture a moment.  They don't always translate the same however in the studio.  Like the next two .... The sketch was done on the shores of the Atlantic during a gale....and as you can see the painting became somewhat different in the studio; although the colours are somewhat true.  I started the painting with all the waves and ripples from the sketch and it simply did not 'say anything'.  My memory had dark clouds a threatening storm and heaving waves.  Thus the final 'Moody Blue'.

How do other artists capture these fleeting moments? I would be so interested in hearing; and thank you Katherine for your blog which has inspired me to look for more of those special moments; especially now that fall is upon us. One moment I hope to recreate this season is the early morning effects of frost and fog.


  1. Hi Ruby, love your paintings and the explanation
    as to how you captured what you did! I am pretty convinced that these "fleeting moments" are dependent on the mood of the observer rather than what the environment is doing. In my travelling days I liked Spain best, probably because I had a girl friend there! A beautiful sunset is always prettier when I am in the mood to receive it!

  2. Thank you for such a moment of peace at the end of the day. Frost and fog ... paint the enchanted land. I have a view from home and fog always settles along the river ... making the trees ghosts ... I'm not a landscape painter much, but you've inspired me to try to capture one of those moments on canvas. Photograph never do enough ... I think something of the artist always ends up in a painting, thence the difference between a photographer and painter.

    How do I do it ... when I'm in the scene, I become the scene. Painting a tree, I become the tree. It's obvious from your sketches you do the same. Just stay with your sight and gut.

  3. Thanks Jennifer. Sometimes I am able to stay with my 'sight and gut'... and then it seems the need to 'produce' something interferes. Maybe this time of looking back has been beneficial.....I do need to back up and take this hard look before I move forward.

  4. Jerry....you've left me words to ponder tonight.
    Seems to me that the scene or location can sometimes influence the mood.
    I need to think about this.

  5. Goodness! I feel like I'm the one who should be thanking YOU! Your work is so beautiful and inspirational to ME! Isn't it great that we can share our thoughts with other artists in other parts of the world. These pieces are all wonderful. They each have their own color scheme that is especially enticing to me. You bring so much creativity to your scenes!