top of page

I Still See Light (Eclipse 2024)

I Still See Light, Eclipse 2024, 2024

By Bobby Padilla

Acrylic and Ink on Strathmore Heavyweight Paper, 18"x24"

(preliminary art for community event)

It’s March and I’ve made another rotation around the sun. Throughout the last few years, the March blog posts have addressed my getting older or hopes for the Vernal Equinox. It likely included an honorable mention about making it through another winter in Upstate New York. Well, aging is not a headline, and winter was overall a no show (I’ll spare the global warming diatribe), but, about that Vernal Equinox.

Solar Eclipse, 1851,

By Bengt Nordenburg

Oil on canvas

Solar Eclipse in Fedosia, 1877

By Ivan Aivazovsky

Oil on Canvas

This Spring, on April 8th, 2024 starting around 1:30 pm EST until 4:30 pm EST we will experience a full solar eclipse. The moon will completely pass in front of the sun, in essence bringing a flash of night to the midday.  The moments of the total solar eclipse will not be visible from everywhere on our round planet Earth. The approximate 115-mile-wide Path of Totality stretches through Mexico, United States and Canada.  The path from Mazatlán Mexico to Dallas up through Cleveland, across to Rochester, on through Montreal and then northern Maine and New Brunswick will be flooded with onlookers from around the world. This will be an economic boom for all the communities in the Path of Totality as well as a strategic and logistical operation.

Eclipse, 1905

By Enrique Simonet

Oil on canvas

Total Eclipse of the Sun June 8 1918, 1918 (top) Solar Eclipse, 1925 (bottom)

By Howard Russel Butler

Both oil on canvas

Putivll. Eclipse, 1914

By Nicholas Roerich

Tempera on board

The Eclipse, 1970

By Alma Thomas

Acrylic on canvas, 62"x50"

Rochester, NY (where I live) is in the Path of Totality. This is a once in-a-lifetime event. I feel this is such an overused phrase, but this will actually only happen once in our lifetime in our region. The last total solar eclipse viewed from Rochester was on January 24, 1925.  In 2024, Rochester will experience Totality for about 4 minutes, offering one of the longest viewing opportunities in the Path of Totality. 

As of 2021, Rochester’s population stood at around 225,000 people. We’re expecting an additional 350,000 to 500,000 visitors from around the world to the greater Rochester region to view the eclipse in its totality.


Rochester has been planning for this eclipse for about 5 years, every facet from commerce, emergency preparedness and transportation infrastructure. Then there’s the other peripheral concerns that come with the influx of people, like expected interruptions of cell service and erratic behavior of both wild and domestic animals. Our community has responded by closing schools and most non-essential businesses on April 8th while other businesses hope to capitalize on the unique one-day event. Starting with the weekend leading up to April 8th, there will be eclipse themed events and festivals. I know, I have several booked. Also, organizations such as Rochester Museum and Science Center, Strong Museum of Play, Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) will be hosting viewing parties featuring several activities. For, Roc Paint Sip, I’ve designed a large-scale community painting project that’ll be part of the celebrations at the Memorial Art Gallery entitled “I Still See Light.”

Eclipse Crhromatique No.1, 1973

By Martha Buto

Oil on canvas, 31.5"x31.5"

So, on a day where many people gather and celebrate with friends and family, I will not.  In fact, my family will be separated. I will be at the MAG, my boys at work, and my wife at home with Gillespie (our family dog). That day is shaping out to look like where ever you are, you’re there for the day. Traveling throughout the city and surrounding burbs is expected to be difficult. As well prepared as Rochester is, we are just not fully equipped to deal with the anticipated onslaught since we are a commuter town.  Public transportation is limited to buses.  Parking is expected to be limited with the additional visitors, so some Rochesterians will be looking to capitalize on charging folks $20 for a space on their lawn. Plan to go somewhere and stay there. My preference would be to throw a bash at my joint with the fam, but if I’m going to be held up somewhere for this once in a life time event, the art gallery with a paint brush in my hand and guiding my fellow Rochesterians to make art isn’t a bad place to be.

Square Motif Blue and Gold (the Eclipse), 1950

By Victor Pasmore

Oil on canvas

Total Eclipse, 2013

By Khalifa Rashid bin Khalifa Al


Such a beautiful celestial event has and will inspire so much art. Conceptually not sophisticated at all. Essentially, a ring around a black sphere with a glow or halo, but this simple composition will be interpreted in so many ways.


So, I just wanted to share a small sample of the eclipse paintings throughout art history, including my humble contribution. I get lots of looks at my blog, for which I’m grateful, but not many comments. Please share your plans, experience, or art relating to the eclipse in the comment section.

Eclipse, 2002

By Carlo Maria Mariani

Digital Image

Eclipse of the Sunflower, 1945

Paul Nash

Oil on canvas

Enjoy the eclipse safely, realize the rarity of it, take notice of those around you when it happens, if not with friends, make friends. It’s not every day you get to be part of something so much bigger than yourself. Not to sound too corny, but for one brief shining moment, we’re all going to feel connected to the universe, or at least our little corner of it.

The Eclipse, 1968

By Toyen

Oil on canvas

Eclipse Lunar, 1999

By Villamizer Ramirez

Oil on Board

Eclipse of the Sun in Venice, 1842

By Ippolito Caffi

Oil on Canvas

988 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


I've only ever seen a partial one and that was exsquist. I couldn't imagine having that many people descend on a place that's not built for it sounds like it will be a busy week for you. And happy birthday.

Replying to

Thanks! Yes, it's going to be off the hook around here!

bottom of page