These are two of six pastels completed en plein air from our recent painting trip to New England in October '06. Both were painted in dry pastel, during late afternoon, in that thick creamy Atlantic coast light and atmosphere, which I think is created because the sun sets on the back side (west)of the landmass before the light actually strikes the water.
It's totally different than the Pacific Coast light at sunset, which feels crisper and harder edged, no doubt because the sun light is bouncing off the water before it makes landfall. It took me a while to adjust to that difference and realize why the disparity exists. While I'm painting, I think about these things, sort of in the back of my mind. It's like, "WHY is this light so different? I'm on nearly the exact same latitude as where I live!" It's just another reason to keep exploring the process and learn as I paint.