In Port Orchard, Washington, the neighborhood known as Manchester sits right on the Puget Sound. Manchester has a great state park (we walk there a couple of times a week), and a sweet little rural waterfront that includes a public boat ramp and a floating dock. (With 15-foot tides, docks that can move are a necessity.) Manchester also boasts the smallest library I’ve ever seen. Across the way from the library is a nice neighborhood restaurant and pub, and a new park. The Seattle skyline is directly across the water; the Space Needle is often clearly visible to the North end of the view.
We thought Manchester would be a good, open place to observe the almost-total eclipse, so that’s where the BLP and I headed on Monday, August 21. The day before, I had made a pinhole projector out of some cardboard pieces- a nice long one, lined in coal-black paper with a white screen for the image. It worked perfectly, projecting the image of the eclipse upside down inside. A couple of people asked to take a peek, and of course I was happy to share.
The last solar eclipse I remember seeing occurred when I was a child. I don't think it was a total eclipse, but pretty close. I was very excited to be seeing one again. These kinds of events make me feel like I'm part of something more wonderful than the day-to-day nonsense that wears me down.
The day itself was clear and cool. There were a few strippy little clouds in lines to the North. But the most interesting phenomenon of the day had to be the bank of fog that had rolled in on the Seattle side, completely obscuring the city and leaving just a hint of the Cascades in the distance.
The eclipse progressed, and the fog bank remained. The light changed, the sky darkened very subtly, the shadows moved, and I knew I wanted to paint what I was seeing. I had another painting to complete first- the one titled Sentinel – and then I began my eclipse painting.
Seattle, Eclipsed © Rose Guastella 2017 oils on canvas, 12” x 24”