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Daniel Porter - Evening Star, View from Westmorland Street Bridge

5 April 2017

In this lovely little town where I live, we are fortunate to have the mighty Saint John river running through it. On summer evenings, we wander down to the local boat docks and board our good friend’s vessel for a peaceful sunset cruise.


On a warm clear summer evening, the landscape and the show of light and colour that envelope this beautiful river is seldom a disappointment. As the sun drops below the horizon, the evening sky lights up in a brilliant array of colour. While sitting on the top deck, looking out on the vastness of this scene, I often task my mind as to how I might solve some of naturally occurring complex displays of colour in a painting? Often the display is awash in a baffling array of colour that can run a tad askew of how one might intuitively approach such a scene from a painted perspective.


"Evening Star, view from Westmorland Street Bridge" was one such display, it isn't a terribly complicated piece from a compositional perspective, but it also isn't what I would call a "safe sunset" from the perspective of applying pastel to board. In its minor aspects, there are competing colours at play that are not in keeping with certain logic in terms of what one may instinctively lean toward to accomplish such a scene.


Unison pastels have a balance across the range unrivalled by other pastels, this is especially evident when laying down these competing colours beside one another. There is a subtle unity that is ever present. It is amazing at how one can control the balance and softness in the work even when employing this diverse range of colour. In the end, we have a result where all colours retain their distinctive quality, yet blend softly together to allow for a very pleasing finish.


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