Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sunset. Show all posts

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Sojourn to the Sea

For the first time since we moved to Mexico almost three years ago my daughter Sarah is visiting us. Our house has plenty of room and we are happy to be together. Yet we are somewhat removed from cultural activities since the location is in a pueblo outside of Oaxaca. Sarah asked about going to the ocean, so we decided to make the seven hour drive through the Sierra Madre Mountains to the Pacific. Amy and I had visited Mazunte about 2 years ago and liked it. It has an international reputation as a hip and laid back spot along the coast. Young people especially like it as a counter culture place to forget the world and re-center in harmony with nature. 

To drive from Oaxaca with our puppy MaliNalli, we followed an infamously winding road through mountains that makes some sick to their stomachs. The dog threw up! Near the coast, earth gave way to sand. Our fabulous hotel, Carpe Diem, took us in with open arms and made us feel at home on a tree laden hillside above the ocean. Sarah participated in yoga sessions on the roof veranda with sparkling and astonishing views.

Mazunte beach is not for swimming because the ocean is too strong with powerful waves hitting the steep shoreline. We drove 7 minutes to nearby San Augustinillo where swimming is perfect. Amy sat contentedly by a table under a big beach umbrella. Sarah and I dove in and played in the surf. MaliNalli streaked around with joy but was afraid of the water. She dug holes in the sand . . . just like any child.

Yoga by the sea

Sunday, August 05, 2018

The Clouds

When my friend Therese saw the likeness of birds in twilight clouds and showed me the photograph she took, I thought to make a painting. It hung in my gallery for several months. A few days ago a woman from Denver, Colorado became entranced with it and bought it.

Karen had recently moved with her husband to Colorado from the east coast and had left much of her art collection behind, in order to begin fresh. “Our house has been bare because I have not wanted to buy anything unless I really love it."

It pleases me greatly to be able to meet the people who purchase my art. I was able to look into Karen’s eyes and see her excitement. I was there when she took a picture on her phone and sent it to her husband for approval. He replied, “Nice.” She laughed at how when he says “nice” it usually means something much more. Then she looked back at the painting and pointed to a face she saw in the clouds. Therese saw the face too, and eventually so did I.

Pareibiola is a psychological phenomenon that causes people to see or hear a vague or random image or sound as something significant. Some people do this regularly and others don’t. My father admitted he never could see the, “man in the moon.”

I love looking at skies with clouds that shape shift and turn colors. Especially sunsets give me great joy and a sense of awe. I made a photograph of a landscape with clouds forming the shape of a heart over mountains. Even my father, bless his departed soul, would be able to see it.

For more, see: The Geese Are Clouds

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Gift

For years I have been dazzled by skies at sunset. I study the time in the evening when the sun is disappearing and daylight fades.

Afterward, stars begin lighting up the heavens. On a clear night far from city lights the vault of the celestial sphere can take ones breath away. Have you seen the milky away in all its splendor? And then witness shooting stars?

But sunsets are the phenomenon I get the most pleasure from above the horizon. Here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA the elevation is 7200 feet (2200 meters) above sea level. The conditions are such that many evenings provide dazzling sunset spectacles. And each one is different than those before or after.

Recently I went to a friend's home and after dinner we walked. As the afternoon reached toward evening, we climbed a hill and sat waiting for the sunset show to begin. There were sufficient clouds to dazzle the western sky with colorful refractions and shifting forms. We could not take our eyes from the unfolding drama. I snapped some pictures as I often do during these events.

A few days later I made a painting to celebrate and commemorate the gift that The Creator gave that evening.

Amalia Sunset, oil on board, 10 x 10 inches
Click for more Steven Boone art.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Dazzling Sunset

A dazzling sunset is food for my soul. The fiery spectacle is fleeting and lasts but a short while before turning to dusk and then black of night. Clouds must be present and form in the west as the sun is setting.

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA where I live, dramatic sunsets occur regularly. Over the years I have watched them with eyes wide open and heart thankful. I photograph and make paintings from the scenes.
I posted a sunset photo to Facebook about a month ago, and an art collector in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, messaged me: "Steve - Really like that picture you posted yesterday of the sunset.    Simply breathtaking!     Really like the deep blues in the sky!   Are you going to paint this?    I would be interested!     Could you do it on a 40"x40" canvas & paint the sides?    I'd want it for my living room to hang above my fireplace mantle."  

I responded that I would love to do the painting. He sent me a photo of the space, then I photoshopped an approximation of what it would look like.

I made the painting and as good fortune would have it, I needed to drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an art show and so drove it to Roger's home, installed it and enjoyed his hospitality for an evening before saying good-bye and continuing on to Tulsa.


More art by Steven Boone

Sunday, May 07, 2017

A Title Is Evocative

Sublime Touch, by Steven Boone, oil on  linen, 30 x 40 inches

After thirty years of making art and thousands of paintings, occasionally I have run out of ideas for titles. Probably some have been used twice. Especially since my sunsets are so popular—how many titles can I invent for sunsets? I have used Sunset Sublime, Sunset Song, Western Glow, Western Drama, Path To The West, Western Touch, Sunset Surprise. One of my very favorites is Heartfire, a title I collaborated on. It is a large painting.
At present I am working on a commission, a large sunset that I might name Heart Song.

A title helps a viewer get in touch with an artists' feelings about his work, and perhaps understand the intention behind it. A title is evocative at best, and disappointing at worst, e.g. when a work is labelled "Untitled".

During the heyday of abstract expressionism, titles were kept to a bland neutrality, so as not to influence someones experience of the artwork. A work might be titled Monday, because it was created on a Monday. Jackson Pollock (American, January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956) gave his pictures conventional titles at first, but changed to numbers. He commented: “…look passively and try to receive what the painting has to offer and not bring a subject matter or preconceived idea of what to look for.” Pollock’s wife, Lee Krasner (American, October 27, 1908 – June 19, 1984), said Pollock “used to give his pictures conventional titles… but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is – pure painting.”

Jackson Pollock  Number 1A, 1948

Sunday, August 07, 2016

A Gorgeous Summer Evening

Couple, admiring the sunset.
I am a sunset aficionado. I have painted them often and taken scores of photographs. They are fleeting and when the conditions are right, it is nature at its most dramatic. I can sense a good sunset before it happens. 

Tonight as I made dinner a thunderstorm struck and I thought if there was light on the horizon later, a good sunset would occur.

It was cloudy and stormy with scattered rain drops as I got in my car and drove to my friend's house. She had surgery on her foot recently and hobbles around the confines of her small home. After awhile, as we were relaxing, she pointed outside and said, “Oh, look at the sky!” The clouds blanketed the top but near the horizon a fiery golden glow emitted. We checked the time and realized we had about twenty minutes. She grabbed her crutches and put the protective boot on her foot and away we went. I drove to a little park at a location in town that looks out over the city. A small crowd had already gathered to mingle and watch. 

My excitement was palpable as I grabbed my camera. She said it was okay for me to run ahead to a good vantage point. The sun was sinking below the horizon as a brilliant glow stretched across the lower part of the sky. Dark clouds accented the space above.

Santa Fe sunset
As I regrouped with my friend, she spoke to a stranger nearby and said, “It is so good to live here and have this!” The other person grinned and said, “Yes, and you even came out on crutches to see.”

And that is what a gorgeous summer evening and the promise of a great show of light does.

"Heartfire", 48 x 36 inches, oil on linen by Steven Boone

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Sky Above, The Earth Below

The sky above, the earth below. So is human existence given reference and meaning by nature.

The sky represents limitless possibility, spirituality, constant change, and by the succession of light and darkness—advancement, retrograde, and the struggle for progress. The earth represents nature, sustenance, and the cycle of life and death.

How potent is the combination of earth and sky! In between is a horizon where the two meet.

Two days ago, the autumn winds blew chilly air over Santa Fe, and marked the end of summer. The skies grew dark with clouds and hail fell down with a rat-a-tat-tat sound. My gallery closed at five o'clock, and I knew by the battle going on above, with glinting light darting down through the moving holes in the clashing clouds, that I must find a place to watch and photograph the drama unfold. I asked Heidi Of The Mountains if she wanted to go with me, but she declined and said she would meet me at a friend’s house on the outskirts of town where we are house sitting.

I drove to a park that overlooks Santa Fe, and walked in the cold, blowing rain. Not a soul was around as I looked toward the sun, blocked by clouds in the west—but the view was a grey one. Nevertheless, I knew the potential existed for a fantastic sight because everything was changing rapidly. Cold, I got in my car and began driving to the house.

When I reached a two-lane highway going out of town, the sky was changing drastically. The setting sun was shooting rays of light low on the horizon and an ethereal color permeated the pregnant air. When I saw a rainbow, I pulled over to find a vantage point to capture it. I climbed a hill, but was stopped by a barbed-wire fence. Looking behind in the opposite direction I saw the plains and mountains veiled in supernal light. By now my artistic soul was completely enamored and excited. I had to find the perfect vantage to take pictures, even though I had no coat and was wet and shivering. Then my cell phone rang with Heidi complaining she was lost. I was only partly hearing her because my attention was focused on the sunset. Frustrated, she shouted in exasperation. I was torn, because the grand moment was about to disappear. I tried giving her instructions that she barely understood, and hung up. Turning once again to the drama unfolding, to my dismay, just then my camera battery gave out! Heidi called again, and I began driving back toward town to meet her. Along the way, I saw one of the most fantastic sunsets I have ever witnessed, and felt awe but also was chagrined that I could not photograph.
When it was all over and we safely arrived in the dark at the house on a mountainside, I felt something special had occurred, and while I “captured” some of it, the wild performance of earth and sky let me play along but could never agree to stop and wait.

Click to see more artistic photography.