"Northern Lights -- Rex Beach" -- oil on birch panel 8x10" -- Margie Guyot
This morning I happened to wake up at 4 AM. Glancing out the north-facing window, something struck me as very unusual: it was way too bright for that hour of the morning. It was a guess, but I figured it just had to be the northern lights. I'd never seen them before. Yes, it was ungodly early, but what the heck -- I threw on my robe and slippers and drove my car down to Rex Beach, about 3 miles away.
I dared parking right on the sand and got out. There they were!!! All across the northern sky, shimmering and pulsating! Unlike many of the popular photos, they appeared fairly colorless. But still, I was so excited I could have done cartwheels! I wrapped my excitement in 2 old afghans from the back of the car. It was kind of chilly out on the beach.
It was surprising. The sky wasn't pitch black. I don't know if you could even call it "black", but the darkest parts were the distant line of trees and the line of shrubs and grass on the beach. The sky was almost a medium tone. In the distance were low-ling clouds. And the lights themselves were not a brilliant light, but more of a soft, blurry non-color. I stared at these things, trying to make myself remember. A shooting star flew by.
No camera. No paintbox. Alas! But I did grab my mileage log book and do a quick pen sketch. Later in the morning - when it became light enough to see -- I did an oil painting of the scene, referring to my sketch.
Here's my reference sketch. Solar flares are predicted to continue for the next year or so, so I hope to get to make more observations -- and paintings.