|Intrepid nighttime painters in last year's workshop.|
Robert F. Bukaty is a photojournalist in Freeport, Maine. He recently wrote about a series of nighttime photos he did in Acadia using his red headlamp (similar to a photographic darkroom safe light) as a paintbrush. The images he created are lovely, and you can see them here.
|Nocturne, by Nancy Woogen, painted in Rockland in 2013.|
“The dim red light is just bright enough to let you see what you’re doing without ruining your night vision,” Bukaty wrote, which fascinated me. I have a basketful of headlamps, both the kind that strap on and the kind that clip to your visor. They are an uneasy compromise. They were intended for nighttime hiking, walking, or running, and they’re awfully bright for painting. Bukaty’s got me wondering if there is some way to tone them down. The red lamp Bukaty used wouldn’t work, because it would obscure hues, but there might be something in that idea.
|Maine has a million night skies, sunsets, and sunrises to inspire.|
Inevitably, Maine draws us into painting the night sky. Most of us come from the populous bands of the Northeast, where our night views are seriously corrupted by light pollution. That great big bowl of the night sky, brimming with stars, is arresting every time we see it anew.
|Night sky near Belfast, ME.|
Bukaty goes to Acadia for his stargazing because there is little light pollution there. My 2015 painting workshop will be at the Schoodic Institute in Acadia, which means we will have ample opportunity to see the unpolluted night sky.
Pack your headlamp!
|Lovely watercolor nocturne by Bernard Zeller, painted in Belfast in 2014.|