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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Downtown Denver Squared

Downtown Denver Squared, 30x30, oil on canvas
Here is a night scene of downtown Denver. I took the reference photo one evening while painting during the Denver Plein Air event a few years ago. My painting did not turn out well that evening but I did get a few good reference photos. Yesterday a friend came over and critiqued this piece. His suggestion was to darken the tower of the library and to soften the edges to push it back. That would give the foreground more focus.

I had a lot of fun with this painting. I loved all the graphic shapes and the way those shapes and colors played together. Even though this is a night painting there was so much light, but I agree with Drew; I need to play down some of that light as long as the capital does not then become too much of the focus. My husband had said the library needed to be grayed down, so maybe between a darker value and a more neutral value that tower will fade back where it needs to be.

A funny aside. Being a graphic artist by training, this painting is more in my comfort zone. But since taking the master painting class 4 years ago I have worked hard on not making everything so hard edged. When I brought this painting in to work a number of people commented how out of the ordinary this piece was compared to my "normal" style! I had to laugh out load. I had not realized how much I missed this more graphic style of work until I got into it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Semur-en-Auxious, An Old Walled Town in France

Untitled, 36x24, oil on linen
To start the New Year off, here is a painting I am still contemplating. Not sure if it is completed yet. I think not, but it is close. Why I say that is because I think I want to darken the shadow that wraps around in the alley, and then the reflected light on the back wall will be lighter and brighter. Or possibly just to darken the wall that is wrapping around from the light will do the trick.

In the Fall 2007 I was on a three week vacation with my sister, her husband and another couple. We had done 5 nights on the Yonne River in Burgandy, gone to Dijon for 2 nights and were on our way to Paris when we stopped at the little medieval town of Semur-en-Auxious. I had read a blog post on the walled towns of this region and the writer, living in the area, said Semur was the best and the least touristy. It was a wonderful example of the old walled towns and though we did see one tour bus, it was a small tour group! This is not the first painting I have done from this village, and it will not be the last. Because it sits on a hill and the streets roam up and down (and has an ancient Roman Aquaduct!) there was so much that caught my eye. This scene,which includes my sister, is one of them.