Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm Back!

Late Summer Fugue, 2013, 12"x16," watercolor on paper.   All
copyrights reserved to the artist.  (c) 2013.
I hope no one has given up on my blog.  I know I've been remiss in not posting anything for awhile, but I intend to begin doing so on a regular basis again.  My hiatus was due in part to the unusually mild weather this fall.  I couldn't resist the opportunity to continue doing the plein air painting I began in the summer.  There is something really special about the experience of painting in situ, a sort of sense of discovery.  You gain a heightened awareness of all aspects of a particular place:  Its physical dimensions; how it looks in different light conditions; you observe who uses the space and how.  But now that the weather has turned cold I intend to start going to museum and gallery exhibitions once again.  I'm already really excited about some of this winter's shows!  In particular, the "Masterpieces of Dutch Painting" at the Frick and the Magritte show at the Modern.  I only hope you will once again tune in to read my posts!  In the meantime, here is a sampling of my plein air work from this summer and fall:
Central Park Footbridge in Autumn, 2013, 14"x20," watercolor on paper.
(c) 2013.
Central Park Footbridge, Overcast Afternoon, 2013, 10"x14," watercolor on paper.
(c) 2013.

These three are all the same bridge in Central Park.  I was drawn to its shape; there is something compelling about the tension created by the repetitiveness of the multiple arcs.  They form a visual vortex that pulls the eye in and directs it to the view beyond.  It is also fun to observe how differing times of year and weather altered everything.

In addition to doing multiple takes on a footbridge, I did a series of city park fountains.  In the process I became much more familiar with many of the city's parks than I had been before.  The ones below are, respectively, on the lower east side of Manhattan and just east of Chelsea.
Stuyvesant Square Park Fountain, 2013, 14"x10,"
watercolor.  (c) 2013.
Madison Square Garden Park, 2013, 10"x14," watercolor.  (c) 2013. 

I also painted some street views.  Below, a scene on the lower west side of NYC:
Staple Street, 2013, 14"x10," watercolor.
(c) 2013.
Staple Street is a wonderfully quiet oasis in a spectacularly noisy city.  It is a teeny side street, just off of Duane, which is pretty quiet to begin with.  The paintings I did there were probably the most successful street views I did this summer or fall, which I attribute to the tranquility of the place.  All the other ones I tried were in the midst of a fair amount of traffic, both foot and vehicular.  While I credit myself with superior powers of concentration, I nevertheless found it too distracting to achieve anything worthwhile.

 Also, fun was to paint sites that I'd done in the past, and then compare the results.  Below, two takes on the Bethesda fountain in Central Park----done two years apart:        
Balustrade & Bethesda Fountain, 2013,
10"x10," watercolor.  (c) 2013.
Balustrade & Bethesda Fountain, 2011, 9"x12," watercolor.
(c) 2011.

By the by, The newer version is in the "Small Works Exhibition" from December 4 - January 12 at the Manhattan Borough President's office, 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor, NYC  10007.  And, the older version will be on sale ($200.00) in the Art Students League's annual holiday exhibition, which runs from December 6 to the 22nd.  Art Students League, 215 West 57th Street, NYC  10019.

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