Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Steel Glow, 48 x 60, oil on canvas

These dusty steel mills become really exciting when molten metal is poured. The flames illuminate surfaces while the yellow green lights pierce the smoke from the ceiling. Cool blue light from outside streams through dirty glass panels. This creates three distinct light sources and a visual poetry that you wouldn't expect from such a dangerous and enormous space.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buses, 9 x 12, oil on panel

These two buses are in a junk yard that I drive by almost everyday. They are tucked into the forest directly across from where I stop. As traffic whizzes by I find myself staring at these shapes, thinking about the thousands of hours spent on buses like this as a child. Yet I'm also intrigued by the bold, intense yellow against a field of non-color. The contrast and abstract shapes bring thoughts of Mark Rothko.  It has taken me four years of observation to make this painting–in 90 minutes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hazelwood, 16 x 20, oil on linen

This is the latest of my vintage series of paintings. It is from an image taken in the early 1900s from the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh. I'm using Van Dyke brown, Portland gray and white to achieve a look similar to an aged photo. It really forces me to "feel the weight" of the buildings. I've told students for years that value trumps color every time. Now I'm getting a chance to practice what I preach.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fences, 9 x 12, oil on panel

I've been using the idea of missing houses in recent work. The spaces remind me of a smile without a tooth. Most of the urban landscape work has been done within a few blocks of my studio. It just doesn't seem necessary to travel to "find" a good painting location when so many interesting options exist nearby.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Snow, 36 x 50, oil on canvas

Here is the finished version of Last Snow. The previously posted image was the 16 x 20 inch study. I didn't change much except there is a lot more information now that it is enlarged. It is hard to keep the spirit of the quickly painted smaller painting. Also you have to use 4 - 6 inch wide brushes to create the same look. I just can't bring myself to mix puddles of oil paint that would accommodate that size of brush stroke. It is a compromise, like a lot of things in life.