May 29, 2022 — Wonderful to be back in the studio today, painting Pele. What else for my first Hawaii painting, but Pele? The main event. To that end, I am painting the nighttime Kilauea crater, night being when we saw the glow from the lava issuing forth in the steam and vapors, the Southern Cross right above the glow, along with the two “pointer” stars, Alpha and Beta Centauri. I got the underpaint done today (shades of red), the composition done, and even applied what I call “first paint”, in this case, completing the dark foreground leading up to the crater. The brushes that I had cleaned and dabbed with Master’s brush cleaner were all hardened, but running them in cold water (which is all I have), they eventually loosened up. Success on the brushes! Now painting Pele, a fiery reintroduction back into service from their rare break in the action.
Can’t wait to paint the night sky. It was fun reading again about the Southern Cross and how important a constellation it was and is, always visible in the night sky, year round, and always a marker to indicate the south pole. Does that make it the north star of the south? Kind of. It is used to point out where South is, versus being located on the south pole itself. Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri are the pointer stars that are used in conjunction with the stars of the cross to map out the south pole.
Aside: My internal link (for SEO) (so demanding!) is for the Art Giveway. I warmly invite you to sign up.
Blue-white α Crucis (Acrux) is the most southerly member of the constellation and, at magnitude 0.8, the brightest. The three other stars of the cross appear clockwise and in order of lessening magnitude: β Crucis (Mimosa), γ Crucis (Gacrux), and δ Crucis (Imai). ε Crucis (Ginan) also lies within the cross asterism. Many of these brighter stars are members of the Scorpius–Centaurus association, a large but loose group of hot blue-white stars that appear to share common origins and motion across the southern Milky Way.