Sunset on The Everglades Elizabeth Reed capturing the spirit of people and places

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Sunset on The Everglades

May 2021
Oil on Linen Panel
10 x 20″

Sunset on The Everglades is a study of light at the end of the day. I live between The Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. Each body of water stages incredible light shows for sunset paintings. 

Painting en Plein air, or on-site, introduces the element of time. Especially during the parentheses of the da y. I can set up my easel in 10 minutes and then paint up a storm for the 45 minutes it takes for the sun to set. 

Sunset paintings are glimpses – glances of how the light splits into complements or opposites. White light is a mixture of the whole spectrum. As the earth turns into night, the Sunset on The Everglades splits into complex complements that mix into exciting neutrals. You cannot photograph light – you need to experience it.

My new painting series starts from en Plein air paintings of the sunrise, sunset, and a combination of both. Sunset paintings tend to be predictable – not mine! Every single night I celebrate the sunset –  even if I have to celebrate on my suburban driveway.

Sunset on The Everglades will evolve into the rainy season. Alligators have mated and now are nesting. The beauty of The River of Grass is the nonstop hum of wildlife. Birds, vultures, fish, turtles, and of course, Mr. alligator, join in the chorus. 

The trailhead at Atlantic Avenue is a magic spot. Anyone can walk, ride a bike, or drive to this sanctuary of peace. It is free. Here, no one notices your skin color, economic status, language, or age. Nature’s incredible force makes us realize our insignificance. 

Light is magic. Knowing how to play with color is an art. Sunset paintings are therapy for me. I end the day with an hour and a half of sanity. It is a  challenge to get to the spot and set up.  This challenge pales in comparison to painting Sunset on The Everglades.

Practicing for Nyeopi in Bali

"Art hurts,

art urges voyages,

and it is easier to stay home."

Gwendolyn Brooks



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