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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Documented Changes in the Neighborhood

THEN: White on White Alley, 12x16, oil on board
I painted this alley on a sunny day in October 2010. The location is the alley behind Duffyroll on Louisiana and South Pearl Street in Denver. As you can see, it was a beautiful clear sunny day. Driving past this location the other day - it is all gone! The only thing left standing is the flat building in the background. Here is a photo of what is now a lot. I asked at a nearby business if they knew what was going in here and I was told a 30 unit apartment complex. In an already high density area where parking is nigh impossible. Good Move. But Heck, can't stand in the way of progress!
NOW: empty lot-soon to be apartments

It has been amazing to me (and not sure why) that ever since I started focusing on finding new and exciting things to paint in my own backyard so to speak, it has turned into a documentary of the changes that have gone on in our neighborhood (Platte Park) since. Most of the alleys that I have chosen to paint have gone under enough new construction or privacy fencing that they no longer provide the visual interest that they once did. I will write more posts on this to show you all just how fast the area you live in can change without too much notice. Since I am paying such close attention now it is very noticeable.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter Local Tone Work in Progress

first draft, Winter Wonderland, 24x18

Second Round

I started this painting before Christmas. Half way through it I realized that my drawing was way off and I just had to rework it. In the first photo you can see that the bottom limb on the forward tree is just too large. That tree also need to be darker. The figure was not in the right place for good balance, so I moved him down and over to the right. The other things that were changed: the mass color of the trees in the background, widened the opening in the trees in the distance (not sure that is going to stay that large) and brought in more sky. This is the point where it was when it was critiqued. Kevin liked how I incorporated the figure into the trunks of the trees and lamp pole and darkened the tree that is the main focus. I have worked on it since and when it gets to a place where I am well pleased with it, I will post the finished piece.

My idea for this was to keep it simple and to think of it as a wood block print, with three values: light, medium and dark with the medium marrying into the dark group (visual approach: Local Tone). In the photo reference there is another figure right in front of this figure, just enough to be confusing, so I removed her. I like the solitary figure in all this snow. I want you to be able to hear the quiet.