The Orange Light of Dawn

I’m This week’s blog post is brought to you by the color, Orange.

This morning everyone in our little part of the world woke up to strange orange light glowing from the sky. It felt like I was wearing aviators sunglasses or was somehow trapped in a sepia photograph.

Here is a beautiful example captured by my friend and local photographer Alan Klughammer.

The unfiltered orange colour of sunlight through wildfire smoke. Photo credit: Alan Klughammer
The unfiltered orange colour of sunlight through wildfire smoke. Photo credit: Alan Klughammer

 

β€œIn my head, the sky is blue, the grass is green and cats are orange.”
― Jim Davis, In Dog Years I’d be Dead: Garfield at 25

 

I live on Vancouver Island in Beautiful BC just off the coast of the mainland & a little north of Seattle. Smog is (thankfully) something which we never need to contend with here. Unfortunately, there have been numerous wildfires on the West Coast of North America and the smoke blown our direction has changed the colour of the sunlight.

Satellite photo of smoke covering lower Vancouver Island from a forest fire.
Satellite photo of smoke covering lower Vancouver Island from a forest fire.

After a few hours of this phenomena I decided I had to try to capture some of it.

Making beauty of of tragedy! I applied a watercolor wash of pinky yellow aka orange πŸ™‚ and let it dry. I then pulled out one of my new toys: a dip pen with a flexible nib and sepia India ink.

The orange light coming from behind the trees in our backyard. Watercolour and india ink done with a dip pen.
The orange light coming from behind the trees in our backyard. Watercolour and india ink done with a dip pen.

Then I grabbed my bag with art supplies and went for a walk up a nearby hill hoping to get a view. But everything just looked dirty viewing it from that altitude. 😥 So I sat down on a rocky knoll next to a small Garry oak tree amongst the dry grass for sketch.

Garry oak in dry grass. Ink and watercolour.
Garry oak in dry grass. Ink and watercolour.

Speaking of sepia:

These sepia colors remind me of a painting I did a while back. I had a favorite colorized photograph of my grandpa Jim, he was a real cowboy during the Depression. One night he got all gussied up in his best chaps and gear to go to a local dance. Our family had a farm in Fort St. John not far from where many of the current forest fires are.

Cowboy Jim, acrylic on canvas
Cowboy Jim, acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20 “.

I’m linking this post to Sunday SketchesΒ , Paint Party Friday, Β Try It On Tuesday

12 thoughts on “The Orange Light of Dawn”

  1. What a way to make something positive out of such a negative! We are so far from the fires just 10 minutes from langley, yet here we have been in a haze for sometimes since the many fires started! My daughter also captured several before and after photos of the haze, as well as that very beautiful orange sky! All these photos and the paintings are gorgeous…love the painting of your grandpa too…I feel like crying with every photo I see of the fires and how close they are… I think the men and women fighting these fires are so honourable…it must just be hell in the heat exacerbated by fire. I am so sorry you’re at a level 4 water restrictions…it takes some of the fun out of summer for children. Stay safe and thanks for sharing all this beauty!!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. Fortunately we were away at the time in the clean air of Nootka and Tofino, but your sketches and Alan’s photo make it look so pretty that I wish I’d been here to see it!

  3. These are so beautiful! I love the smoke inspired tree scene, it really does put across the same atmosphere as your friend’s photo at the top!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *