Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Swan Island, Night by Mark Andres

  • Title: Swan Island, Night
  • Artist: Mark Andres
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas
  • Size: 40"h x 50"w
  • Donor: On loan from artist
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B3/2 Administration office rm 204

This large canvas was painted on site in the early morning from the overlook bluff of the University of Portland looking out at Swan Island. This was part of a decades long effort by the artist to discover how to make night landscape paintings from observation. The painting was begun quickly as a large dark brush drawing on a yellow ground (allowing for visibility in low light conditions like a caution sign), then slowly mitigated by violet and other colors as the sun came up. Such paintings are best done as a synthesis of memory and observation – begun in daylight and made darker, or begun in the dark and then developed by daylight. Although most artists would rely on photos to solve this problem, the artist stubbornly refused to do so, claiming that photos do not smell like night.