The inspiration of a single painting

Night by Richard Lewis

Night by Richard Lewis 2014

Followers of this blog will know that I’m a big fan of the 20th century landscape painters from the New Hope, Pennsylvania area known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists. One particular painting John Folinsbee has always stuck with me. In this painting of a New Hope street, the Moon illuminates the sky through the clouds. The painting has a wonderfully eerie and moody glow. I have seen this street hundreds of times, but never like this.

Night by John Folinsbee 1949

Night by John Folinsbee 1949

The painting has had a profound impact on me and inspired an attraction to the late evening and night time hours. Unlike a lot of photographers, I’m not out at night to photograph star trails or the milky way (okay, I’ve done it and it is lots of fun). To me, night is a solemn, mysterious and quiet time. Those things that seem so ordinary during the day take on a completely different feeling at night, like the subjects of this painting or my photograph above.

When you are at a place where people gather in the evening and then step outside, something magical happens. The transition from a place that is well-lit, noisy and warm to the quiet, cool darkness can be like stepping into another world.

For me the photograph shares the feeling of John Folinsbee’s painting. I even gave it the same title. The way the cold moonlight in the clouds mixes with the warm tones of the street lights makes me feel that Mr. Folinsbee would be happy with this tribute to his art.

One more Photograph of the Night

This is another image inspired by the painting above. It was actually made just across the river from the location in the painting.

Lambertville Bridge by Richard Lewis

Lambertville Bridge by Richard Lewis 2012