Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Parking Lot and the War of Art

This time a 12x16 oil on panel of the terminus of Sterling Place at Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, where there's a supermarket and parking lot.

I've just finished a book titled "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield.  It's not as bloody as it sounds.  We are our own worst enemy through finding excuses to avoid creative work.  The author calls it "resistance" and, in this case, it's not a good thing.  An important quote from the middle of the book: "The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work.  The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like."  Yes, "rewards" are active beings, and "professionals" are not people who get paid to make art.

Saturday, March 25, 2017


The corner of Grand Avenue and Dean Street in Brooklyn, another 11x14 on multimedia board.  This is a late afternoon view with bright areas of sunlight and deep shadows between buildings.  I like the "outrigger" feel about the composition.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Barely Perceptible

Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.  There are times I just like gray.  It helps barely perceptible colors become visible.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Less Is More in Brooklyn

Trying to get simpler, bolder, less fussy: an 11x14 oil on multimedia board representing Washington Avenue approaching Sterling in Brooklyn.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Late Afternoon Sun

A view looking down St. Marks Avenue near the corner of Classon Avenue.  Late afternoon sun.
An 11x14 oil on multimedia board.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Glance in Brooklyn

Have you noticed that when you are standing at a street corner waiting for the light to change, you might glance up the street, and a glance is all you get, and then you walk on.  This glance is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.  It depicts the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and St. Marks Avenue in Brooklyn.  I did it like the previously posted painting: I painted three areas with three shades of gray, and then worked in some color.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Simple Harmony

An 11x14 oil on multimedia board: a view of Bond Street near Carroll Street in Brooklyn looking south.  First I painted three shapes in three shades of gray, and then worked in the variations, for a simple harmony.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bisected Twice in Brooklyn

An 18x24 oil on canvas of the Union Street Bridge in Brooklyn.  I'm always intrigued by the ways to bisect a canvas in both directions and put stuff in each section so that it doesn't look crossed.  Of course I like the bridge too with the late afternoon light and shadows.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Dark Sky, Bright Sunlight in Brooklyn

This 12x16 oil on panel depicts Bergen Street approaching Washington Avenue in the early morning.  The sky was overcast except the sun had opportunities to poke through brilliantly.  It's when the sky is dark that the sunlight appears brighter.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Baroque in Brooklyn

I've always had a special place in my heart for Edward Hopper's "Early Sunday Morning" painting.  His painting is spare and abstract compared to my baroque version with fire escapes and cars. Mine is a Saturday afternoon view of Third Avenue near Carroll Street in Brooklyn.  It's an 18x24 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Up to Your Imagination

Nothing fancy here.  Just some grays with some spots of color.  A look down the street, Grand Avenue towards Prospect Place in Brooklyn.  I wanted to get that stop sign warning in the upper right corner and the trash cans at the left.  Otherwise, everything fell into place, and is left up to your imagination.  A 12x16 oil on panel.

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Flag and a Trope

We're not close to the Fourth of July, but I saw the flag displayed on Grand Avenue near Bergen Street, and a street sign bent in a complimentary direction, and it's a colorful location, and so forth and so on.  So I painted this 12x16 oil on panel.

I continue to ponder on Cezanne.  Here's a perspective from Denis Coutagne:  "...the artist has often inspired the word 'heroic,' not only because of his lofty ambition but also because of the discrepancy between his exceptional genius and the rather awkward, unyielding talent with which he had to cope.  The glory of the consequent paintings is that they seem so manifestly to be the record of a great soul mortally engaged in winning dominion over his own conflicted nature, which, thanks to the dynamic complexities of the art, becomes an expansive trope for modern civilization striving to wrest order from the chaos of post-feudal existence."  The claim for the expansiveness of the trope might be too grand, but nevertheless Cezanne is a heroic example to those who study his paintings, which is a trope enough for me.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Shadow of a Car You Can't See in Brooklyn

A 12x16 oil on panel of Grand Avenue approaching St. Marks Avenue in Brooklyn.  The first thing I saw was the puddle of water.  I also liked the shadow of the car that you can't see.  The puddle is always like an eye of the sky in the ground.  Shadows of things you can't see have always appealed to me from the time (and earlier) that I read that Pissarro was criticized for introducing shadows of trees that were not visible into his paintings.  How unorthodox!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Classon at Dean in Brooklyn

This past weekend I visited Brooklyn, and got re-inspired with the city.  It was warm, and there was little snow to be found.  I like late afternoon views with shadowy foregrounds and sun-lit backgrounds.  This is a view of the corner of Classon Avenue at Dean Street.  It's a 12x16 oil on panel.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

This is the fifth studio chair painting, another 20x16 oil on multimedia board.  I started doing these paintings after I looked around the studio for Morandi type still life bottles and tins.  All I saw were chairs.  But unlike Morandi, I don't think I'm going to paint chairs for the rest of my life.  You may notice the pipe.  I put it there both for Vincent and Thor.  The painter Thor Wickstrom noticed that the pipe was missing from the previous chair done in homage to Vincent.