Arturo Tello August 23
Long story short: the moon made me cry...
So, here is the long story... I have been painting on location at a ranch in Los Alamos for the past few months. One of the paintings is unusual, it consists of a corner parcel of flat land where they keep two large pigs, it is on the side of an oak dotted hill. On the foreground there is a very large oak with long reaching branches, two of which snake down to the ground and reach up again. The unusual part is that I have chosen to paint a time of day in which the light effect lasts for only a few minutes. It is the time when the setting sun is just touching the top of the hill, making it a bright golden orange color. The foreground is not in a deep shadow, but in a kind of penumbra where there is not direct sunlight, but the reflected light of the sky is providing very subtle shifts of color. Because the canvas is not small I decided to just go ahead and work on it just a few minutes at a time while I was able to see the effect and not from memory of my observation. I had worked on the canvas about three weeks ago before my NY trip, when I last had a chance to paint there. That day I did something completely unusual for me, I decided to add a full moon reflecting the golden sunlight. This was not a careless act, I never ever paint what I don't see, even birds, or insidental elements in the landscape. I just don't. Well, this time I decided that the moon needed to be there, in exactly that spot just above the hillside oaks. (Just to be clear, there was no moon in the sky that I could see that day, and I don't recall having seen it before while making that painting.)
Well, on Monday I went back and I resumed painting. Everything went well and after a while I looked over and the full moon was there, exactly the size and color and very near the place where I had painted it! I nearly dropped my brush. My breath stopped and I began to cry... I am not one of those painters that feels that I am god and the canvas is my universe where I can do whatever I want. (all power to them) I am a painter that celebrates and respects and offers prayers of gratitude to the real creator, for a marvelous creation.
That moon, to me, was a kiss of appreciation.