The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer.
– Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass
Cool green and blue colours in this painting bring a sense of serenity and calmness and touches of violet, purple and crimson evoke the hope of Dawn. Purity of white snow battels the darkest Night.
My intention was to depict beautiful symbolism of the the dawn – hope, the end of endurance, sorrow and brighter future before us. Although, in some cultures Aurora is harbinger or war, famine or other misfortunes. Natives of North and South saw the spirits in the lights. Whatever the meaning of Aurora is to someone, it is always mystical and its beauty unearthly.
First coat of paint was black, and over it crimson, green and blue with wide flat brush. While still wet, I made stripes of white paint (plenty of paint on the brush) for the ray of northern lights. With dry flat brush I pulled the white paint to blend with underpaint, to create highlights. I added more white where I thought it would look good. When this layer was finished and still wet, I added patches of green, blue, violet, crimson, and other red colours to create Aurora borealis.
Mountains were painted with the pallet knife. Splashes of white from the wet brush made the falling snow. More white for snow, few pines and spruces et voÍla! Finished painting.