Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Old Repin copy and a completed street scene

While moving things around in the "studio", I found an old copy I did of a Repin painting -- the Actress Strepetova. Without measuring, I think it's an 11 X 14" painting done on masonite board. It had a lot of dust on it and cleaned up pretty well. As I said before, this is a good way of pushing yourself and exploring another artist's way of painting and using color. Secondly is the final version of the Chicago street scene I started a short time ago. I did a bit of repainting and adding some tree details but decided to not fuss too much. This was quite a diversion for me and I did not feel that I needed to finish in the same way I do with other paintings. The final version will be put onto 14 X 20" stretcher bars. I was watching the Jackson Pollock movie a couple days ago and really liked his work and approach to his work as portrayed by Ed Harris. I've never been an abstract painter, but certainly appreciate some of it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Music Store - unfinished Chicago street scene

This is another canvas I painted mounted on a board. The advantage? can use really good canvas and then stretch on stretcher bars later if you are satisfied with the result. I use a really nice, heavy cotton canvas which I prime with gesso giving it some texture as I go along. I do have an oil primed linen, but I find the priming too slick. I like a matte surface with texture. So...about the painting ---- I will stretch this 14 X 20" (that is, if I like the final result). I have a number of paintings which I have sitting around which I don't like for some reason or another which will never see the light of day outside this studio. The location of this is about two miles from me in an older neighborhood which still has storefronts which are original. There's a lot of remodeling going on which takes away the original 1920s kind of look that these stores retain. I like the three bullseye porcelain decorations at the top and the recessed entryways. I used a lot of knifework to get straight lines, but you won't see the knifework (I just don't like knife paintings -- you know what I mean -- people who have decided to paint the whole painting with a knife, because their work with mixing color and painting with a brush is terrible -- I've heard that, "I'm a knifepainter" -- sorry that doesn't make you special). I will be cutting off about half the street and keeping all of the sky. I did not draw this in with a pencil first -- I just used thinned paint and did all the measuring with the brush, made things square by checking with a T-square. I did not slavishly copy everything -- I don't like photorealism. The last thing about the painting is the influence. I have always wanted to do a painting like this, but while I was working on it, I thought -- this reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting. I had to look up Hopper's paintings to find "Early Sunday Morning" which has a group of storefronts. I saw the Hopper show at the Art Institute of Chicago some years ago --- so what happened? Did the image of Hopper's painting put this in my head or did my painting make me recall Hopper's painting? Since I've never done a painting like this I can't say Hopper has ever been an influence, but I do like his work. I will post the finished version when it's done.