Red Sky at Night

Abstract painting of a red evening sky by Canadian artist Marianne Morris

Title: Red Sky at Night
Size: 10x10" 
Medium: Acrylic and graphite on wood panel
Series: 100 Square Project

We have evenings in December where the sky is amazingly beautiful. On one day in particular, when the sky became that wonderful golden tone that happens in the evening, I happened to be outside walking. There was snow on the ground... this is a normal December thing, but the last couple years we haven't really gotten a lot of snow early in the season. This year though, we've had a lot. It can be so beautiful, especially in the early morning or late evening. Anyway, this particular day the sky turned a beautiful colour, with tones of red and pink, and the reflections in the snow were mesmerising. I must have looked like an idiot... I stood in the middle of the field behind our house staring at the snow until the sky was deep indigo... and I was pretty much frozen solid. 

This painting was entirely inspired by that memory. I used silver in places to try to get the feeling of the reflections. It didn't work quite the way I intended it to, but I do like how it turned out. I've left that silver out on my work table... I want to try again and play with the metallics a bit more. I love the way I can layer transparent colour over them and change the way they look. 

The beauty of creating this body of small pieces is, for me, the ability to experiment right from the beginning. When I'm working on a piece that is 6 feet wide, I want to know what kind of mark the tool i'm using makes. I want to be sure that the colours I have chosen are going to work together. I don't want to be half way through it and decide I don't like it. It can be a pretty expensive mistake to make, given the cost of good, artist-quality paints. With a 10x10" painting, I can use materials I've never used before. I can choose colours I've never used before. I can experiment with my tools, my techniques, my mark-making. It's fun for me, and I think that shows in the finished pieces. 

I'd like to hear what this piece does for you, as the viewer. How does it make you feel? What does it bring to mind? Art is a conversation between the artist and the viewer, each briging their own life experience to the table. I'd really love to hear the other side of it. Leave me a comment and fill me in!