This painting depicts the late afternoon sun shortly before it dips below the horizon, but also as it is partially obscured by a distal winter cloud. The trick, or challenge, was to try and capture that in the painting without it appearing contrived. The cloud's edges act like an aperture of sorts, causing some of the sun's rays to form a radiating pattern of light. It's an effect I quite like in photos when it is expertly done, and I've seen many painters pull it off as well.
So, I thought I'd give it a shot. This is also the first time I've done anything approaching a sunset in oils. This really didn't photograph as well as I'd hoped - it looks better in person. As I look at it now, the small dark scattered clouds in the upper left are bugging me...enough that I'll probably re-do that area when the painting is dry.
It's titled as such, with the portion in brackets, because this was indeed the last sunset of the first decade of the new millennium: Dec 31, 2010 - 6:20:13 PM, according to the EXIF data on the reference photo.
9x12 - oil on board