Monday, January 17, 2011

Harvest Moonrise

"Harvest Moonrise" - 8" x 8"- Oil on panel  copyright 2011 Jake Gaedtke

Capturing the moon as it's rising can be very difficult. I spent the prior two days coming to this location to see where the moon was going to rise, so I could get the best advantage. I checked on the Internet to see what time the moon was going to rise on that particular day. As the moon was rising, it was already disappearing into the clouds. Wouldn't you know it. The two days I did my reconnaissance, it was perfectly clear and no clouds. But this moonrise was particularly dramatic with those clouds and I loved it. I only had about a 5 minute window to get the moon down on canvas with the color surrounding it. I painted it mostly from memory after the moon went into the clouds. Luckily I had my book light I use for nocturne painting with me. I attached it to my pachade box and was able to finish the painting on location. It was the reflection I was after, though. I believe I got it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Aspens Ablaze

"Aspens Ablaze" 16" x 12" Oil on canvas copyright 2011 Jake Gaedtke

This is a small studio painting I recently finished of an aspen grove I came across in Rocky Mountain National Park. The aspens were so tall and the leaves were throwing off all those brilliant Fall colors. Yellows, oranges, ochres were permeating the atmosphere. Contrasted by the blue of the sky and background mountains made the colors even more intense. It was like this inferno of seasonal chroma just exploding everywhere.

One of the challenges I find in painting aspens is trying to get that characteristic of the leaves. Quaking aspen leaves twirl and turn and against the sun they glimmer like jewels. It's like turning a diamond in the light and the glitter shows off the sparkle. The aspen leaves do the same thing and it's so hard to capture that animation. Many artists who paint aspens show just the big shape of the leaves as a whole, and that's okay, but I like the individual leaves as well as the big shape, because to me, it's those leaves that attract me to the aspen tree.

This painting will be exhibited in the upcoming Colorado Governor's Art Show in April.