Friday Art: Hot Sun by Stephen Etnier (1966)

It’s 105 out today and I just got back from driving around and running various errands. I think I feel more like the horse in this painting than the guy driving the carriage.

Etnier, a Maine-based American realist, specialized in outdoor scenes using vibrant sunlight, so the way that he captures the heat of the day with his colors alone in this work is particularly good. All those yellows and oranges on the road surface, as well as that hazy golden glow along the horizon give you the sense of a hot day by the beach. Someone get that poor horse some water.

Etnier traveled all over the country and the world painting outdoor scenes. He was very good with colors, and his brightness usually connotes bright, sunny spring/summer days, even if the location and time could be anywhere, like in this one, “Storefront, Nassau” (1957)

Need to cool off? How about a trip to Hawaii, to a nice breezy lagoon in the cool, cool cool of the early morning to borrow from what Bing Crosby sang, with a nice blue-green palette to take away all that dry heat…

“Sunrise: Mauna Kea” from 1966 is interestingly named since…. there’s no sun. Not even a morning red one. Just that pale blue light with sky and water reflecting, the dark silhouette shapes of the land and trees, and that marvelous icy snowcap of the mountain that I WANNA JUST DIVE RIGHT INTO BECAUSE IT’S 105 OUTSIDE.

It looks like a giant vanilla ice cream cone. Maybe THAT’S what I need.

Or maybe just a drink. I’ll leave the ice cream for the horse in “Hot Sun.” He deserves it.

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