And……..Back: Penn and Atlantic, Family Dollar


So, since making that enormous tree with my team from church, my regular painting has not been happening as consistently. This is the first painting I’ve done since the tree project was completed. I’m really happy with this. I’ve been reading books on Van Gogh, color theory, and mixing colors. This painting enjoys some of the thoughts I’ve been having since starting “Coffee with Strangers”, in that I’m tinting neutral space more consistently to create an effect (hence the green tint in the sky) even if that tint isn’t literally there. Additionally, my hope is that at some point I’ll be able to represent light with color, and eventually eliminate mostly the color white.

I’ve also been using my magnifying glass, so that I can saturate the painting with detail more readily.  While this still isn’t fully realized, this painting here is only like ten inches long. From across the room, the details are pretty dense. The caulk I used on the road and sky works well, but I think I still need to try to develop that technique. Having a slightly colored/mostly wet brush over caulk is what produced the emphasis that’s visible even in the picture of the texture. Before, like with “No Man’s Land” I was doing heavy caulk, heavy painting which visually removed the texture of the caulk as it was totally overwritten with paint.

So, technique wise this is a pretty good painting, at least directionally. The subject matter is something I’ve done a bunch of times in the past- people walking by chain stores or through a gritty street scene. I think I’m always going to be committed to painting the things I see around me that I find beautiful. Additionally, I’ve been having a lot of thoughts about painting the mundane parts of life that might be replaced by internet based communities. Will there be a family dollar once Amazon and similar online stores are able to do what Family Dollar does better? Will I have any reason to see the people who I would’ve seen in Family Dollar once it’s gone?

Right now I’ve gone back to working on “Coffee with Strangers”. It’s good to be back doing those, as I believe in them as paintings so strongly. I’m thinking of playing with some of the older shots I’ve already painted, as I develop out the style that I’ve been working on with the wood and caulk. I’ve been doing work being more intentional with layering, which makes me nervous for the portraits that I’ll be able to maintain the sort of hashed together look that I’ve already developed with them. Being systematic is great, but only so far as it makes better, more exciting paintings. There’s a conversational rhythm that I think about with the portraits I don’t want to lose. I also don’t want to plateau because I won’t take risks. Please let me know what you think of this painting (especially in regard to some of my previous landscapes). Feedback is really helpful


One Comment Add yours

  1. Kira says:

    I really enjoy the colors in this! Granted, I have a weakness for saturated colors in general, but I think it really works here. I can see the Van Gogh influence in the yellow windows and the colors around them.

    I’m glad you talked about your process with the caulk. When I first saw this I wondered what you were using to achieve that texture. Have you ever played around with acrylic molding/modeling paste? I sometimes use it when I want to build up heavier textures, and you can mix it with paint so you don’t lose the texture by painting over it.

    As far as comparing it to your previous landscapes, it’s hard to say without seeing it in real life, but I like the direction this takes.

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