pastel painting of moonlight on bare trees and snowy trail

This Shining Night, Pastel

This Shining Night, Pastel is 9″ x 15″ in soft pastel on pastel paper. The framed original painting as well as prints on paper and canvas are available.



pastel painting of moonlight on bare trees and snowy trail

This Shining Night, pastel, 9″ x 15″, 2023 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

About This Shining Night

Sunset comes early and dusk and nightfall quickly follow near the winter solstice. Christmas is among the shortest days of the year, and on this particular year I headed west on the trail, hoping to capture a beautiful sunset as heavy clouds gathered, then parted, and snow squalls and flurries filled the air. The timing did not work for my goal, but the blue and violet light was magic, seeming to suspend nightfall, delaying total darkness.

As I turned around toward the trailhead and home I looked up to see the reason why: a nearly full moon had risen in the east, brushing the snow draped on branches and twigs and land with delicately tinted light. The air was full of tiny sparkling crystals, the moon softened by a light haze of clouds and the sparkling flurry of snow between me and her.

The quiet was comforting and I felt a connection rather than isolation looking at that moon through the glistening air, connection with all others who would be looking at this same moon at that moment, and others who had seen it already, and those who would see it in coming hours, all over the world.

As I looked out and up and opened my awareness to take in this simple moment, feeling the quiet and the snow flurries brushing my face, words, the title of a poem, came to me, “Sure on this shining night…,” the title of an art song composed by Samuel Barber based on a poem, Description of Elysium, by James Agee. Though the poem speaks of starlight and high summer, the idea of connection, of peace, of healed hearts and kindness, were there:

Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand’ring far
alone
Of shadows on the stars.

I photographed the moment to keep it more permanently in my memory, and to revisit the image whenever I wanted.

“Light into Darkness,” and the joy of winter for an upcoming exhibit

I’ve been participating in exhibits at the North Hills Art Center, and the first show of this year opens at the beginning of February, so I’m preparing artwork now. The theme is “Light into Darkness” and art that must relate to “Joy in Winter.” The first show usually benefits a local organization, this show will benefit the Veterans Leadership Program.

Read about the works

Description of Elysium, James Agee.

Sure on This Shining Night, Samuel Barber.

See more paintings from Sun Shadow Ice & Snow, Seasons on the Panhandle Trail.

See more Landscape Artwork.

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© 2022 | www.PortraitsOfAnimals.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

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