Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Brooklyn Camouflage

This is a view of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.  The elevated tracks for the Long Island Railroad is at left.  The building at right is painted sky blue so that it almost blends into the sky, which it what strongly appealed to me.  Brooklyn camouflage?   12x16 oil on panel.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Fire Retardant Dumpster

Going from studio interiors to a dumpster seems a natural progression.  I found this dumpster at the corner of Sterling Place and Classon Avenue in Brooklyn.  It's full of sand so unlikely to become a flaming dumpster.  It's a 12x16 oil on panel.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Studio Rocker

The studio doors are closed and the rocking chair is empty in this 12x9 oil on panel.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Studio Door

The studio door is open for this 12x9 oil on panel.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

An Interior

About this time of the year, late winter, I've noticed that I start looking around the studio, and wonder if I could make a painting or two of what I see.  I could try to paint quickly, and freely.  I could try to find interesting compositions without moving anything.  So here's one painting, a 12x9 oil on panel.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Light Through The Flag

One can't walk down Grand Avenue near Bergen Street in Brooklyn without seeing cars on the sidewalk.  There are many car repair shops at this location.  Here I've used the car to stop the viewer from seeing too far down the street.  It's the flag that is my main interest in this pyramidal composition, or I should say the light going through the flag.  12x16 oil on panel.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Before the Storm

Before today's snow storm, yesterday's weather was beautiful with snow on the ground from the previous storm, so I went back to the crazy willow at the small pond.  It was warming and the snow on the branches occasionally fell heavily into the pond, simulating fish jumping out and back in.  12x12 oil on panel.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Grand View

Here's a view down Grand Avenue at the corner of Bergen Street in Brooklyn.  We're facing north, so it's a late day sun striking the buildings and casting a shadow in the foreground.  In the city, besides all the geometry, there are always primary colors set off by the abundant greys.  12x16 oil on panel.  

Friday, March 2, 2018

We'll See

A couple days ago with the temperatures in the fifties and a hint of spring in the air, even though it was still February, I suggested to the farmer that winter was over.  His reply was, "We'll see."  Of course, today it's snowing like crazy.  Here's the quick oil sketch I did that day of the farm buildings that naturally fit with the earth and mountains around them into a compact composition.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Shrinking Ice Cap

Winter seems to be fading fast.  I went to another tiny pond to catch its last remnant of ice in this ugly little painting.  I was attracted to the mountain and ice forms moving in opposite directions, one substantial and the other quite ephemeral, but visually of the same weight, with the trees forming a grid tying them together.  That's only part of it.  8x10 oil on panel.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Looking At You

Moving to a different spot a few feet away, I painted another view of the unwieldy old tree at the mirror pond.   The tree blends in with the mountains in the back and the pond in the front.  There is something to the idea that when you look at something intently, it looks back at you.  12x12 oil on panel.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Handsome Willow Tree

At Caretaker Farm in Williamstown, MA there's an old willow tree standing by a small, round mirror pond.  The tree is quite disheveled but I suspect the tree doesn't care even though it can see itself every day in the pond.  Most of the time the tree may be looking in the other direction at the mountains.  I spent part of my day looking at the tree, which I found quite handsome.  12x12 oil on panel.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Collision Center

At the corner of Bedford Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn is a large, red armory building (the 23rd Regiment Armory, built in 1891-95 in Romanesque Revival style, according to Wikipedia).  At the back end of the armory on Atlantic Avenue is an auto collision shop.  Here in this painting one can see a wrecked car, awaiting repair, neatly tucked into the corner where the collision center buts up against an armory tower (I could write that the shop collides with the armory).  In the background is the Franklin Avenue Shuttle bridge that spans Atlantic Avenue.  The geometry of the city is plainly evident forming a nice composition.  12x16 oil on panel.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Trains, Monet, and Understanding a Poem

There's a precedent for putting a train on a bridge in a painting.  Monet at Argenteuil did several paintings with the train on a bridge.  In this painting it is the Franklin Avenue Shuttle crossing Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, a 12x16 oil on panel.

I came across an interesting quote in Helen Vendler's  book, The Odes of John Keats:

"I know no greater help to understanding a poem than writing it out in longhand with the illusion that one is composing it--deciding on this word rather than another, this arrangement of its masses rather than another, this prolonging, this digression, this cluster of senses, this closure."

That is the attitude that I have when drawing or painting, trying to understand what I am looking at, and creating an illusion that I am composing with sensibility what it is that is there.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Simple Landscape

This 9x12 oil on linen I did last week before the snow came which has now disappeared.  Instead of facing east where Mount Greylock is, I was looking north across the stream that is at the bottom of the painting.  The field that I was standing in I would not enter during the summer for fear of ticks, another reason for doing outdoor winter painting.  The hill really does have that gentle curved shape, which the stream parallels.   The tree form ties the horizon to the stream.  Simple.