Monday, October 21, 2013

New Urban Landscape Paintings, Part 2.

 Downtown Taxi  12x36x2  
acrylic on canvas
I thought I'd continue on the theme of new urban landscape paintings and share another that I recently completed. I painted Downtown Taxi as a vertical panel. It's painted on a pre-stretched gallery canvas and measures 12x36x2. This tall vertical format is really suited to this subject matter and to condo life. Wall space can be at a premium in these new residences that are mostly glass. Beautiful for natural light but for hanging artwork, choice and wall space is very limited. 

Downtown Taxi in it's beginning stages

Here is an image of the painting in it's early stages. I'm not painting a detailed realistic view of a city street. I'd rather not replicate a photograph but rather create a mood and a feeling. I've chosen to use a limited palette of colors. Some may say they're solemn, but I say they are dramatic, moody and even romantic. Yes they're paintings of tall buildings, concrete, glass and steel, but with paint I can soften the edges. With paint I can create a foggy twilight where a lone taxi cab is dwarfed by the tall buildings, which seem even taller due to the slightly distorted perspective. 

After many hours of painting and a little soul searching I've come to realize that these paintings are not only created from all of the photographs I've taken as reference, but also from my childhood. I have a specific memory of being about 6 or 7 years old and going with my parents to visit some friends. (This was in the early 60's so think Mad Men) We drove through the city at night. It must've been late into the fall as it was dark quite early in the evening. It was raining and I watched the rain drops through the window in the back seat of our car. The street lights were bright against the darkness of the sky and they reflected on the wet sidewalks. I delighted in the sounds of the city as well as music that played off in the distance. And so my cityscapes are a combination of the present with hints of the past and perhaps a sprinkling of fantasy.

But 'art is in the eye of the beholder'. What are your thoughts? Do you find them solemn? And doesn't a hint of sadness add to the overall mood I'm creating? Feel free to comment.