Shi Shi Nocturne—Venus Ablaze

May 2023

Brian Mahieu

Shi Shi Nocturne—Venus Ablaze
May 6, 2023 10:18 pm
Shi Shi Beach, Olympic National Park
oil on canvas
36 X 48 inches
Private Collection

Shi Shi Beach is an otherworldly place in the daylight. But in those liminal moments at first light, and nightfall it is utterely transcendent. On this particular night there was a full, flower moon rising in the east and this unbelievably bright object in the sky to the west. At first I thought it was a jet plane flying right at us, then wondered if it was a supernova or comet, or if it was a UFO or something. It turns out that is was Venus reflecting that brilliant moonlight and illuminating the darkened sea and towering sea stacks. We photographed until 10:30 pm but the moon never made it over the tops of the trees and the bluff in the east, then got up at 1:30 am and 4:30 am and never saw the moon.  

I’m thrilled with this painting, and one thing that I particularly like is how it shows the last glowing bands of sunset in the lower right and in the upper left the crystalline night sky with hazy aubergine clouds and a million stars glittering in the night.

Close-ups Showing Detail and Texture

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