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Chasing the Sun Down
Original Paintings and Photos
by Lorna Branzuela

On display at SPH through April 30th

Chasing the Sun Down

Webster’s Dictionary:

Sundown: SUNSET

Sunset:           The apparent descent of the sun below the horizon.

The time when the upper limb of the sun disappears below the sensible horizon as a result of the diurnal rotation of the earth.

Who knew the sun had limbs!

Limb:  A leg or arm of a human being.

The outer edge of the apparent disk of a celestial body.


Of or relating to the sky or visible heavens (the sun, moon and stars are celestial bodies)

A heavenly or mystical being.

Being: Something that actually exists.

Through these definitions, we are linked with the sun! We, being earthly beings, existing concurrently with the heavenly body of our nearest and dearest star. Thus, the daily event of a sunset must also relate to each and every one of us.

Sundown appeals to me because it signals a closure. The finishing touch to another wonderful day of life. I, like many others, struggle with completing projects. Being a painter, sometimes the greatest challenge is deciding when to lift the brush or and not add one more stroke of paint to the canvas. Many of my paintings hang in unfinished states after I apply a background. I can gaze for months at a background before adding to it. This is especially true for sunset backgrounds for me because sometimes I don’t want to bury them behind mountains or trees.

Sunset viewing can be hit-and-miss, and the very fact that each and every sunset is unique prompts me to carry a camera everywhere I go. One afternoon I discovered the Diamond Creek trail and decided to check it out. Unfamiliar with the trail system, I noticed many bicycle tracks on the way down towards the beach and so kept my eyes and ears open for mountain bikers. I followed the trail to the right and caught glimpses of the volcanoes to the west peeking out through heavy cloud cover. Soon, I turned to head back to the car as my knees and feet began to complain and I knew it would take longer to get back.
On that day, as I was trudging back up Diamond Creek trail, I turned around to see that the low-lying clouds had parted to allow golden rays of the sun fan out from behind Mt. Iliamna. So, on an old pair of sneakers and an even older set of limbs, I ran back downhill to try and capture one more image of the setting sun.

-Lorna “Bee” Branzuela

Artist Bio

I grew up in Anchorage and moved to Homer full-time in 2020. My first photographs were taken with an old Brownie box camera when I was in grade school. I bucked the digital format for as long as I could but after using my first digital camera in the early 2000’s and seeing how much fun photoshopping could be, I dove into it with both feet.

My favorite photographic subject has always been wildlife. Alaska is a great place for land, air, and water critter viewing opportunities, and I’ve been blessed by being able to visit many places here. Anything else in nature comes in at a close second. The sun, trees, frost, hares, moose, dragonflies, ferns- you name it!

I really love contrast in artwork and photography. Silhouettes against the sun or moon are some of my favorite images. In my recent sunset work, I try to capture depth and patterns in clouds. I appreciate all the artists here in Homer. They are unique and inspirational!

-Lorna Branzuela