Remember That Eclipse

Yes, remember that eclipse we had a couple of weeks back. I read in a couple of places that the time of an eclipse is a good moment to make a new start on something.

I’ve been distracted from doing art for some time; a variety of things have gotten in the way and I can’t seem to clear a way in my time allocation and inside my head. That has to change. I decided to do art while the eclipse was going on to mark my intention.

Here in the the Philadelphia PA area we got about 80% coverage, I think. With my retina problems, I was leery of even thinking of looking at the spectacle. Overly worried, I am sure, but I need my eyes, don’t I?

So I tried the pinhole idea and I have to say, I found it thrilling. It seemed just magical that a shadow of the event would create a crescent shape that marked what was going on in the sky. Take a look:

It never got very dark.

I was even more excited about leaf shadows. I took these pictures at the height of the eclipse.

And for fun I let the eclipse show itself through this bug-eaten leaf:

Magic, right?

All right, on to the art. I didn’t have any real idea what might be right for eclipse art. I decided to take a variety approach – several different boards stepped up to take a try.

I thought I’d use dark paints to make backgrounds, marking the unusual shadowy world the eclipse created. I used a brayer to roll on paint. The third set of boards had paintings already on them that I did not like, so I was happy to do some obliterating.

More paint.

For the 8×10 and 9×12 groups, I just painted what seemed to fit. I incorporated the eclipse in some of them and in others, I portrayed people watching the eclipse.

The 4×4 group became a selection of small portraits. I took random people pictures from a magazine and painted them with a dark eclipse background.

Another session, more paint.

Over the next few days, I added more paint, NeoColor 1 crayons, India ink, and acrylic inks. Here are the results. First, the 8×10 group.

Next, the 4×4 group. Now, I have to explain something: I took a dislike to the lady sitting on the sofa. I gave her a pink sweater:

I did other things, I painted and painted, and I just could not get happy. No reason, but when you only have 4″x4″ to work with, well, there is no hiding. So, I painted her out and did a new lady, also sitting, but different. That’s who you see in this group. Please do not tell me you like the pink-sweater lady better. Please.

Last, the 9×12 group.

I am happy with the results of eclipse painting. I hope its inspiration will carry forward. And even if I did not see the eclipse myself, I participated in it, didn’t I?

8 thoughts on “Remember That Eclipse

  1. memadtwo

    Wow, neither my pinhole or my local leaves created any magic. But I am happy to see yours!
    And happy to see your blue art too. I particularly like “eclipse alone”. (K)

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I was surprised to see the pinhole thing worked. I admit, the pinhole was really made with a knitting needle, but still, it worked. I enjoyed doing these. There was a sense of participation in a cosmic event, my tiny bit of it!

  3. Laura (PA Pict)

    Your eclipse series of paintings are great. I love the moth and the chap under the tree.

    We only had the younger two boys at home on eclipse day. Furnished with approved viewers, we were able to watch. I’ve previously used the pinhole method though. I love the effect through the leaves. That’s very cool. I thought the sky would feel like dusk at 80% but it was still very light. I last experienced a total eclipse about 20 years ago and it was dark, eerie, and cool.

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, I thought we’d have less light, too. That’s why I made the paintings so dark. But even if it wasn’t true to life, it was true to how I thought it should be!

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