Wednesday, May 4, 2011

J&L Works, 36 x 60, oil on canvas

This is the fifth painting of my vintage series. It shows the J&L Works beside the parkway east. This image is seared into my memory because it was my first impression of Pittsburgh. During the 1960s my oldest brother was living in Hazelwood while attending Pitt Dental School. For fun he would drive my twin, Don, and I the 95 miles from Cambria county to see the "big city." Our entrance was always greeted with the smell of rotten eggs, thick smoke, and strange sounds–all coming from this dark, hulking mill. It was an ominous feeling for a couple 10 year old hayseeds. This painting visually recalls that experience over 40 years ago.


  1. This painting and the new series of "achromatic" works(actually a different palette, depicting black and white in a painterly lexicon), mark a surprising departure in Donoughe's oeuvre. For me, this painting depicts the starkness and difficulty of life as represented by Pittsburgh many years ago, with the lonely house at the bottom speaking to the toughness needed for emotional survival among the swirling smoke plumes of an indifferent world. - David Orbison

  2. I grew up within sight and smell of the old Clairton Coke Works--I know it and remember it well. Thanks for the reminder, Ron, and thank goodness Pittsburgh is green again.