Sunday, May 18, 2014

30 Sunrises in 30 Days

A couple of weeks ago I discoved that  I would make it to the balcony of my apartment coffee in hand to see an amazing sky, birds chirping and a nice cool spring breeze blowing on my skin. No one quite up yet in this sprawl yet congested city and I realized this is really an important moment and I am missing it. At the same time I kept talking about getting up and painting the sun rising behind this Greek Orthodox Temple (pictured in the previous blog) that I drive by almost everyday....you know how that goes, talking about doing something and never actually doing it.  So the two ideas mingled and I finally did it and you know what....it was great!!!  What refreshing peace and joy came over me actually witnessing this event with only the birds to keep me company and I get to experience it by doing my favorite thing- painting.  I felt like I had been given nature's greatest gifts and it's free if I will only get out of bed and witness it.  

So I am doing this challenge for myself, 30 sunrises in 30 days - nothing forced, no ulterior motives.....just inner peace, feeling good, gratitude that fills my heart for the rest of the day, light and expanded.  Whatever comes from this practice comes, I have no expectations...just open to receive every morning.  I just show up and push some paint around trying to capture the beautiful moment before me.

This poem from Rumi serendipitously showed up the day before I did the first sunrise painting.  "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep" 

I will blogging about my experiences with the practice here once a week.  I hope they are of some use and inspiration to you.  Please feel free to comment, share or purchase :) 

All the Best, Kelli Folsom

 

Sunrise 1



 



I found this spot driving around on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. Usually what determines my spot is how late did I get up and how much time do I have left before the sun starts peeking over the horizon.  Sometimes, I will get shots of the actual location like this one.  Palette: Cad Yellow Light, Ultramarine Blue, Cad Scarlet, Raw Umber & Flemish White.

Sunrise 1
8"x10"
Oil on Panel
Sold

 

Sunrise 2

 
 
Here is the second sunrise completed. This one was a little baby one as I had to go teach a class later on that morning.  The sky was particularly amazing and so I wanted to focus mostly on capturing that and just suggest the large shapes of the ground plane.  Palette:  Cad Lemon, Cad Red Light, Prussian Blue, Black, Flemish White.
 
Sunrise 2
5"x7"
Oil on Panel
Sold


Sunrise 3


 
So, this is not a sunrise and technically I'm not counting it- ha ha.  When I got to the spot, while getting my things out of the car I looked to the west and well the colors were so much more interesting so I wound up painting this .... moon set instead of a sunrise.  The nuance of color in the scene was so spectacular I couldn't help but paint it instead. Palette:  Cad yellow light, Cad scarlet, alizarin crimson, ultramarine, raw umber, Flemish white.
 
Moonset
9" x 12"
Oil on Panel


 

Sunrise 4


 
Mostly clouds on this morning, but with the most vivid bursts of yellow-orange light you've ever seen.  I love the backlighting of this jumbling mass of brush and tree in front of the sky.  I think I will try this scene another morning as I think there is more to discover here.  Palette: Cad yellow light, cad scarlet, Windsor blue, burnt umber, Flemish white.
 
Sunrise 4
9"x 12"
Oil on Panel

 

Sunrise 5 & 6


 
 

 These are my favorite's so far!  The sky was so great this morning and so was this rural farmland I found to pull over at.  I actually painted the second one first. I was in such a frenzy to try to capture all of the great colors and movement in the sky before it went away. I loved the moment when the sun peeked from behind that cloud in an intense yellow orange- So beautiful.  So this was the same scene and after analyzing my first composition and how the sky had mellowed a little bit as the sun rose higher, I decided to skootch the bigger trees over to the right and simplify the ground plane. I love the activity of the bottom painting, but also the quieter approach of the top.  Palette: Cad yellow light, cad scarlet, Windsor blue, burnt umber, Flemish white.

Sunrises 5 & 6
5"x7"
Oil on Panel


Supplies:

Speedball Gessoboard
Synthetic Flats- the biggest sizes I can use
Windsor & Newton Paints ( I generally always use a limited primary palette with an umber or black and white)
Medium: Old Masters Maroger
Sienna Pochade 
Viva, Trash bag & Folgers Coffee :)


You can visit my website www.kellifolsom.com to view gallery work or to sign up for updates about classes & workshops. 



3 comments:

  1. This series of paintings you are doing are so beautiful! I'd love to watch you paint but I live in California. Please come paint the beach sunset in San Diego :-D

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  2. This is really inspiring. Great idea and some amazing results. I feel that you will work quicker after this set.

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  3. Thank you so much Ed & Prime Time Mom :) I am glad that these are inspiring for you. I am hoping to have a time lapse video completed for youtube so perhaps you can watch me paint there.

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