"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." - Danny Kaye
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Late, As Usual
It all began years ago when I was in college. I was studying under the trees, carefully checking my watch every now and then to be sure I would be on time to class. Finally I went to the classroom. I figured I had about five minutes until class was to begin.
This particular classroom was oddly arranged. The door was in the front of the classroom, so that all of the 100 seats in the class faced where I was to enter. So I walked in and was surprised to find that all of the seats in the classroom (but one) were already filled and that the professor was standing just in front of me, lecturing.
So I sidled my way around the professor and, with several "excuse me"'s eased myself and my backpack down the aisle and into my seat in the center front row. I could feel 100 sets of eyes upon me (99 students, plus one professor).
"Nice of you to make it, Mr. Kent." It was the professor, of course.
So I unloaded my backpack and took out my pad. I was poised to take notes.
"Okay, that's it for today. See you all tomorrow." (The professor again.)
I try to be on time. I really do.
As a December 2009 monthly challenge, Cathy Johnson posted a resource photo of the Arlington Hotel here. She liked the early morning shadows, but when I saw the hotel, I wanted to paint it at night, in the hotel's heyday - the 1920's I imagined, or before. Cathy loved the shadows, and I figured that the light from the lamp post or from the unseen activity across the street could still produce those.
When she posted the photo, she invited us to "change it, move elements around, choose different colors." So I moved the telephone pole that I thought was in a bad spot for the composition and made party lights instead of wire, so that we are viewing the couple from behind those lights. I added a door, uncovered the windows, and added a small hitching post. I put trees in the distance.
Note that back then there were trees. There was no Interstate Highway System or tv or internet. People had to learn skills like piano or painting or writing to have something to do.
To be fair (to myself), I drew the scene in December, although I did not paint it until last night. This is still January, so I am only a month late, right?
I found it fun and interesting that to make the night sky first I had to lay a wash of Winsor Orange. So the sky was initially a very bright orange. Then I laid a wash of cobalt blue to make the dark color you see. Over that I lent spatterings of drybrushed cobalt blue. For the building and sidewalk, I began with a very, very light wash of the Winsor Orange, and built up from there. These are the two main colors, though I also used transparent yellow, and of course the bright cadmium red in the foreground.
I kind of wish you could see the original, since the scanning really did not like my splashes of color. The spots of orange on the building are not that annoying, really.
For Shadow Shot Sunday, I contribute a bench and a wastebasket. I played a bit with the composition, and tried to make a balanced and interesting contrast in values and shapes. When I saw this bench, I stopped dead in my tracks. I felt lucky to find the "hatching" in the shadow. To me it is a very "textured" shot.
Swerving along the artistic road with every sight a potential target. * * * If you'd like to contact me about any of the art that you see - about purchases, commissions or just to say hello - feel free to email me at email@example.com. I'd love to hear from you!