On August 21st, 2017 in the Medicine Bow Forest near Esterbrook, Wyoming, I along with hundreds more witnessed the Great American Eclipse right in the path of totality. Something I'd never experienced before.
Totality was an incredible sight. I will never forget, the moment you took of the glasses and stared directly at the sun - the ethereal Corona, the dancing red prominence and the brilliant Baily's beads. Breathtaking and primal. A 360 degree cinematic two minute sunset and sunrise here and gone before you knew it.
During the spectacle, I was also taking in Laramie Peak and the surrounding Wyoming landscape. Looking at the quality of light across the mountain and forest and how the eclipse affected color. It was like nothing I’d experienced before. Not quite moonlight, not quite darkness. There was some color - warm and desaturated to almost grey tones. It was as equally fascinating as the Corona above.
In conceptualizing this new collection of paintings, I've been thinking about that special and unique quality of Eclipse Light across the mountainous landscape. I worked in a monochromatic "Totality Palette" of low intensity color mixes and in compositions with dramatic contrasts of light and shadow.
Sarah Winkler is featured in “Out of the Shadow – Artists respond to the Total Solar Eclpise” By Kalliopi Monoyios for Scientific American, September 2017. “According to NASA, light levels under totality “resemble twilight conditions about 30 minutes after sunset.” Colorado-based painter Sarah Winkler caught this beautifully in a series of paintings she’s creating in what she calls her “totality palette.’”