Vigil is an oil painting on a deep ultramarine blue  background covered with brilliantly gilded dots. Each of these 24K gold dots is outlined by a circle in a different shade of blue. This circular pattern repeats across the canvas, spilling into shadows at it’s edge.

Gold leaf dots and blue circles | Detail photo of Vigil by Randall Stoltzfus
Gold leaf dots and blue circles

One inspiration for this painting came from my memories of warm summer evenings in rural Virginia, where the fireflies seemed to mingle with stars.

Vigil belongs to a series of artwork that takes the night sky as subject. With these paintings, I’ve tried to express my concern about the growing problem of light pollution and the need for dark sky spaces.  For me, there is nothing quite like distant starlight making contact with our earth-bound eyes. Seeing the stars helps me better understand my place in the universe. Sadly, much of the developed world misses out on this experience because of skyglow from poorly designed lighting.

If you’d like to help preserve our night sky heritage, please consider making a contribution to the International Dark Sky Association.

Vigil was included in the exhibit Clearing at Blank space Gallery in Manhattan. It was also shown in the display The Enchanted Forest at Bergdorf Goodman.

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