Thursday, November 29, 2012
A pastel, 9x12, of Stratton Road, mid-afternoon. The road is slowly going uphill before it bends sharply right and downhill, becoming Blair Road.
I recently saw a reproduction of the Georges Seurat painting, The Gravelines Canal. Petit Fort-Philippe, painted in 1890, in the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Its bright sunlight and stillness, great depth, and lack of people, have always struck me. I could never paint as tightly as Seurat, but his landscape compositions are appealing. He visited the northern coast of France several times in the summer to paint "marines". Richard Thomson in his book on Seurat writes, "It was perhaps in the Honfleur group that Seurat achieved his first maturity as a landscape painter, marrying his remarkable eye for effects of light and atmosphere to his formidable conceptual faculties as a pictorial architect."
When I was a kid I told my grandfather, who was an architect, that I wanted to be an architect. He was pleased. I never became an architect. Now I want to be, and hopefully am, a pictorial architect. Thomson notes that Seurat peopled his landscapes with posts, bollards, and anchors. I use cars for my Brooklyn pictures.