Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Moving Steel, 36 x 36, oil on canvas

A few years ago I visited five different steel mills in the western Pennsylvania region. From those visits I've been doing a series of industrial paintings. In a way it is to document an important aspect of this region's history before it is gone. This mill makes couplers for the railroad industry and it is just a few blocks from my studio.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Snow, 16 x 20, oil on linen

I should have titled this Last Snow, Hopefully. It seems everyone is sick of winter. That is apparent when visitors to my studio say, nice painting, but...  I usually know what is coming next. Winter paintings can actually make people feel cold, which hasn't stopped me from doing them. This isolated group of houses on Polish Hill really caught my eye a few weeks ago. I liked the austere loneliness of the scene even though they appear to be glued together. The shadows were a nice way to lead the viewer up the hill. I'm almost finished with a large 36 x 50 canvas of this one. It will be posted next.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Allegheny River, 24 x 36, oil on linen

Rain and wet snow are usually enough to keep me in my studio. However a couple weeks ago I was invited to paint from a balcony on Mt. Washington, which has a grand view. (Hence, Grandview Avenue, which is where I was.)  Rather than wait for a sunny day I decided to paint the city enveloped by full dampness. There is a lot to learn when the atmosphere is full of moisture. For one thing, edges are soft, values become quite close and the colors are tints of pastel. In addition it can be a quiet painting experience with hours of consistent gray diffused light.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Patch of Path, 9 x 12, oil on panel

This was painted on one of those dark, damp days that you wanted to stay in bed. Fortunately the sun peeked out enough for me to do this sketch. It is a simple statement about how light and shadow fall on snow.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Railroad Cut Away, 12 x 12, oil on panel

Sometimes I get excited to make a painting after just completing one, which is what happened here. By then I feel more like responding to the landscape rather than copying it. In addition, my mass colors are already mixed on my palette. I'm safely parked, and there it is right in front of me, the next potential painting. Why didn't I see this before? These efforts tend to be quite good or losers that get scraped off. This one was a keeper.