“Surging, unto Skies of Fire ..” from Edgar Allan Poe’s poem Dream-Land, describes so well these colours painted across Perth’s skyline. I fell in love with the powerful indigo night tones with that interplay of deep violet!
Dream Land and Skies of Fire
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule –
from a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of Space – Out of Time.
It is later in the poem we see –
“Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto Skies of Fire.”
Eidolon, named Night
If, I were to paint this subject….How might I paint it? What would I use?
Can I relate and merge a few parts of the poem to my image, and then expand and take it further? Could I expand upon Eidolon? Night? The black throne?
Mediums and colour choices
Watercolours would not provide me the effect I’d want, nor would acrylics or pastels.
I’d either get mud, my edges would be too hard, the tones too pale, or the dark would be just a solid dull flat black. Too many problems.
Oils can achieve the colour, nuances, radiance, and the sheer dominating power of this subject.
‘Eidolon, named Night on his black throne – commands our attention. And the Skies of Fire answer to his call.’ Oils are the best solution for this demanding, darkly luminous subject.
- The colours of dark Night: indigo, indanthrone blue, and a silky near-black violet.
- The Night colours are deep indigo and indanthrone blue, with an underlying pale cerulean showing through.
- Rich near black violet power up the left and the mango orange with hints of pale buttery lemon flick through near the horizon.
- Oil Paints I would select to mix with: white, cerulean, permanent alizarin crimson, indanthrone blue, winson lemon. No Opaques for this.
Oil Painting Process
- I would first rub a very pale cerulean into the canvas thinly and let it dry. If done thin enough, it dries in less than 15 minutes. Rub it IN. The secret is ‘thinly.’
- Next is the horizon butter lemon yellow pale, rub it in thinly as well. Dry.
- Now I’m ready to begin with the scarlet orange, then red orange, into the violet and indigo indanthrone areas. These, can be applied at regular applications, not thinly, not rubbed in.
- I would do the darkest last. and then skim lightly more violet over the top of the near black indigo for some ‘relief.’
- Judiciously though. In fact, imperceptibly.
We can be inspired to create our own art through poetry, photography, music, nature, or even in combinations – as I have just illustrated above.
Skies of Fire and Edgar Allan Poe’s Dream Land, certainly ignite the imagination and stir the creative juices.
Whether you are a photographer, writer, oil painter, watercolorist or pastelist…. his words can take us to another Space and another Time.