PAINTINGS: The Moon in the Daytime

The Moon in the Daytime

Richard Bledsoe “The Moon in the Daytime” acrylic on canvas 18″ x 24″


I spent a part of my day off from work for Independence Day completing a painting I have been working on for several weeks.

This piece had an unusual twist for me. Instead of working from a perceived vision,  or discovering the image in the process of painting, in this case I started with a title only.

“The Moon in the Daytime.” Even though the moon is always associated with the night, it’s a common occurrence for it to be visible while the sun is out too. It’s so common I’ve determined there isn’t even a special name for the phenomenon. You just call it the moon.

Somehow it’s always been special to me, to see that faint white shape in the bright sky. As I climbed into my van one morning I saw the moon above me, and the phrase started to ricochet around in my mind all day: The Moon in the Daytime. It reverberated with a kind of poetic, mysterious atmosphere I’m in the mood for in my art right now.

The problem was, I had no clear idea what such a painting would look like.

My wife Michele Bledsoe came to my rescue. After puzzling over it for a few days, I shared my haunting phrase with her while we were painting in our studio. She started to describe what the phrase suggested to her. Something she immediately thought of was the moon personified as a woman. This was something that hadn’t crossed my mind, and it was the missing piece. Soon enough the vision appeared, and I was able to get to work on it. It’s an ambiguous, lyrical image, incorporating a sensibility I can just see opening the way to so many new painting ideas.

It’s wonderful when two artists inspire each other so much.


8 thoughts on “PAINTINGS: The Moon in the Daytime

  1. I like artwork that is fun and more than fun at the same time. This one qualifies and more than qualifies. And the backstory is terrific!

  2. Another interesting painting, Richard. The boy with the rifle is an odd touch. One wonders what he’s doing there. Maybe his father is Ted Nugent who is going to arrive shortly to take him deeper into the woods to teach him deer hunting. Maybe he’s aiming his gun out of frame at an effigy of Donald Trump, or at a halloween pumpkin head on top of a wooden fence. Maybe it’s just a pop gun and he’s playing. Lady Moon looks wistful. Maybe she escaped from a seance session. How she’s dressed she might have stepped out of the past. The moon, after all, carries reflected light. Maybe the wistfulness is because she can never fully be herself. What makes her visible is entirely borrowed. When the sun intensifies she will disappear.

    On a formal level I like the composition. Good feeling of space but also intimacy in the enclosure. I like that little touch in the right background of sky between the tree trunks with the tissue of moon above. One might say that area is the father presence, with the moon itself being his head, which balances out Lady moon in the left foreground, the mother presence, the feminine principle. The boy in the middle is lost in his own dreams playing in that invisible lunar forcefield.

  3. Wow I do love your commentary! You catch the mood I wanted and also all the possibilities of meaning. In painting every detail is significant and I’m glad you see that. Thanks!

  4. You sure like trees. Is there any significance to the hole in the forest just below the moon?

  5. Ok, what is the import of the hole in the forest? At least your intent when you painted it?

  6. It fulfills many functions. The contrast between the light area surrounded by all the darkness is dramatic. It opens up that solid dark mass. The shape of it echoes the figures. It adds depth and even more of a story, like it leads somewhere. Now all of this is analysis after the fact-when I was drawing the basic composition out on the canvas it was pure intuition and following the vision I originally saw. But if I think about why it works and why it had to be there, these are some things that come to mind.

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