Golden hills

GOLDEN HILLS — Sonoma County artist Laura Roney is featuring landscapes of Sonoma County in her new exhibit at the Upstairs Art Gallery. Each piece, such as this piece “The Long Run,” depicts the “golden hour.”

Collection of art depicts Sonoma County landscapes during the ‘golden hour’

The Upstairs Art Gallery has launched a new exhibit that focuses on art depicting the calm and quiet “golden hour,” a time of day where the sun hangs low in the sky and casts warm light and dramatic shadows.

The new exhibit, titled “The Golden Hour,” opened Dec. 30 and will have an opening reception on Jan. 18. “Golden Hour” features 10 landscapes by Sonoma County artist Laura Roney.

Roney said the combination of being a morning person and having an appreciation for the sunrise inspired her to focus her series of paintings on the golden hour.

“I was getting ready for a marathon — I always run in the morning because it is cooler — and when I was going down the road I just watched the sunrise,” Roney said. “It is easy to see when the light changes and with artists sometimes you say, ‘Oh, I got to paint that.’”

In a statement about her work, Roney explained golden hour as, “Two times of day when the sun is in a position to be called the ‘golden hour.’ It is the time when the sun shines lowest in the sky and the light is at its warmest and the shadows created are very soft.”

All 10 pieces being shown were painted with oil paint, which Roney works with the most, and are of landscapes from across the county.

“It is a comprehensive collection that captures that time of day when the sun is fleeting … This 

particular time of day is like magic,” said Beverly Bird, an artist and spokesperson for the gallery.

“The Golden Hour” is part of Roney’s master’s project collection for her master’s degree in art. Roney recently received the degree from the Academy of Art University. 

While Roney has always had a love for art, she hasn’t always made art.

She started out by getting her bachelor’s degree in clinical microbiology and then received a master’s degree in business.

“I got bored being in the basement doing research, so I went into business and from there I helped with pharmaceutical development,” she said.

Then in 1986, she moved to California with her husband and she was reintroduced to art.

She said when she first moved to Sonoma County there weren’t many jobs opportunities in her field so she decided to return to art.

When asked what she hopes viewers will take away from her work, she said inspiration.

“I hope they will feel inspired,” she said.

When and where: 

The exhibit runs until Jan. 25 and the gallery is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The opening reception is Jan. 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. Free admission. All are welcome. 306 Center St.

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