Lunar Eclipse, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

When I heard there would be a lunar eclipse on the winter solstice last December, of course I had to set my alarm for midnight and get out there in my hat, scarf, gloves and coat to see it. And of course it was cloudy. And a little spooky, watching the moon fade from a bright spot to a muddy, reddish circle. But once the shadow covering it started to move aside, that first little white edge was shocking, even through the clouds.

This drawing was a total experiment. I’d read about painting using graphite powder mixed with alcohol, but I’d never tried it. Basically, it makes a thick black paint that smears around nicely on the paper. It also makes a colossal mess because once the alcohol dries the graphite is once again powdery and easily moved—by brushing, erasing, breathing, whatever. But it does make some interesting textures. Just be sure to use a heavy paper that can tolerate getting wet—and have lots of paper towels handy.


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