My First Art Opening

The painting continues...time is moving quickly these days...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Down by the River

This is a view looking North from the Broadway bridge in Portland. I see it every morning when I ride my bike to work. There is so much industrial stuff down by the river here that I am overwhelmed with painting possibilities. I liked this scene because of the way the trains really pull the perspective and the grain elevator (I think that is what that is) gives a nice vertical move to the thing. There are a lot of colors here including lots of reds. This underpainting is a good start I think.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dreaming of a new studio

Working in the basement of my house is practical and costs nothing. It is cramped, I share space with the washer and dryer, work bench, exercise equipment and numerous spiders.
The image above is not my studio, unfortunately. This is an artist studio designed by Le Corbusier for a client. This is how my dream studio would look like. A spacious, double high space with lots of light and a ladder going up to a sleeping mezzanine.
Below is a design for a back yard studio at my house. The idea was to create something that would not require a permit. It is also designed to optimize material use and is something that I could build myself for around $3000. The reality is that my wife and I could both use studio space at the house. I have been thinking that we should double the size of the studio so can both work together.
This may happen sooner than later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Man of Steel

The painting is almost done. This one has been a real challenge and I feel a little beat up by it. What remains is some possible additions of highlights, probably pure titanium white. It is a larger painting, 32 inches by 42" and the painting needs someplace to breath. I will let the beast dry for a week or so and touch it up if I feel like I need to.
I ride my bike across this bridge every day, so I notice things. It is very black, but if you look closely at it there is a lot of color. There are redish rust spots, bird droppings, spray paint, all kinds of stuff. The black seems like a warmer black, which makes it look pinkish in spots.
This is the most macho of the Portland bridges.

The next painting will either be another version of the Steel or an industrial scene which I have been wanting to paint. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

More Detail

The first Steel Bridge painting is almost done. Color and detail has been added. The image above is just a small part of the whole painting, but represents the level of detail that the whole piece should project. The blue sky, background and water add much needed color to the piece.
My wife gave me a good critique and I should be able to finish the painting in the next session.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The steel battle

I was a little frightened to start this rather large painting of the Steel Bridge in Portland. There are so many things going on with the structure. The process of doing artwork or design for me is a battle, which is a good thing. I prefer to attack the canvas than be too tentative.
Obviously, there is no realistic way that I can include all the information in the scene, but I can focus on the major elements. A photograph will get all the detail, so take a picture if that is what you want. This is a painting and I think it should look like a painting.
The underpainting, shown above, has a very sketchy look to it and I am happy with the result. I did take a lot of time to get the major lines correct and it feels good.
Before I started the line work, I washed the canvas with red oxide paint, thinned with spirits and then wiped with a rag to give a nice, warm base tone. I chose this color because there are hints of rust in the bridge. The color will show through in spots, even in the sky.
Being and architect and doing a lot of architectural renderings and perspective drawings is probably a big bonus for me doing paintings like this. Actually, I would not have chosen this bridge or scene myself, but someone wanted a painting of the thing. I'm not usually into punishing myself this much. It is turning out to be a great challenge and I am looking forward to when this layer dries so I can attack it again.

Here is some more detail.