A few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself with some free time.
It was late afternoon and cold.
So I jumped on my bike with my watercolor gear and started roaming the streets looking for a scene to paint.
At this time of the day, I’m looking for long dramatic shadows cast by the tall apartment buildings.
Sadly, I had left it too late as the sun was so low in the sky that the whole ground was in shade.
And then I saw a building, just the one, glowing like a warm orange candle in the last light of the day.
It captured my interest but then the doubts crept in. I’d never painted anything like this before. I wondered if I could do a good painting. And then I wondered if it would be too uncomfortable as I would be painting in the shade and it was very cold.
The doubts won. I cycled on looking for a more open space area where it might be warmer and there might still be some dramatic shadows on the ground.
Yet after a short while of searching and finding nothing and feeling time slipping away very quickly I returned to the original spot that had caught my interest.
I had perhaps 15 minutes to paint it before that final glow of the sun was gone.
Quickly, I started painting. It was intense. I finished the painting in the dark. And to my surprise I loved the result.
I originally wrote this story in April of 2015, I am editing it in June of 2022.
The original title of this story was “Seizing the last light of the day” but I changed this to “Painting the last glow of the day”.
I am still happy with this painting because it was a totally new thing I did but I would like to paint it again at some point and do a better job of it.
Although, that said, I do think this painting captures very well the atmosphere of that moment and that can be something very difficult to reproduce so this thought makes me hesitant to paint it again.