This is a series of three pieces I painted as the sun rose over Lake Michigan at Illinois Beach State Park this morning. The first piece is tiny-5×7-because the sun rose so much more quickly than I could paint it. The second one shows the sky in transition. Shortly after I started it a dense fog blew in, picking up the colors of the sun and muting the light surrounding it. By the time I started the third piece, the sky was thick with fog, though there was a tiny sprinkling of light at the water’s edge where the sun rose above the fog. I recently read a quote in the book, Hawthorne on Painting, in which Charles Hawthorne is reported to have said, “A painter spends his life in despair trying to paint the beauty he sees…” I felt this so acutely this morning, striving to emulate beauty that seems so far out of reach. But Hawthorne says later on the same page, “If a man lives a lifetime and seriously and humbly studies these things about nature-the beauty of the spots of color made by objects as they come together-it cannot but react on him as a man and, by the time he has painted for forty years or so, he’ll begin to have a glimmer of what beauty is.” So I’m making it a goal to hold off judgment of my work for another thirty years or so.
Prints of these paintings can be purchased at Fine Art America by clicking on the appropriate painting. All three originals are also for sale.