With the first round of Nightscapes nearing completion, I've begun working on a new series of studies. These ones are more abstract and less architectural than the first round. It's tough to know if they actual look like anything or if they just color blobs. They look like something to me, but of course I know what they are. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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Now that summer is over and a certain normalcy has returned to my life, I've been able to get back into the studio and start the full-scale Oakland nightscapes in earnest. These paintings are based on photos that I took in the spring that I turned into studies (you can see both the photos and the studies in an earlier post here http://www.larahoke.com/larasblog/2010/6/5/reference-photos-to-formal-studies.html).
The goals is to create and ethereal space - something that feels not quite safe but is at the same time very familiar. To produce that effect I am developing the paintings slowly over time by applying lightly tinted semi-transparent layers of glaze. I use the classic 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 recipe to make my glazing medium - linseed oil, damar varnish, and turp. I am also working to loosen the brush stroke and am introducing line in the form of charcoal and graphite.
I spent another hour working on this painting after taking a fresh look at this morning and being dissatisfied by the color and contrast.
This painting is based a photo of our neighborhood corner store from the opposite direction of the previous painting (Laundromat Night Hawks).
Instead of diving head first into a large canvas, I decided to work on a preliminary painting to get the feel of the composition and color. This painting is small, probably around 12 x 18 and done in about two hours. I plan to work just a bit more into it and then will consider making a go of it on a bigger canvas.
What I am pleased about is how when I work quickly on a small format my paintings have a softer, dream-like quality. There is also an energy there that too often I lose when working on my larger paintings.
To the left is the original photograph that I took of our laundromat and cornerstore. To the right are overlays of my first efforts at the painting overlayed with at different opacities on the original photo.
Below are images of my second efforts at the painting. I moved and minimized the corner shop and adjusted the size of the laundromat.
I cleaned up the studio yesterday and spent most of the afternoon and evening painting. The images below are of Kim. The left-most image is the painting as I left it in June. The middle image is a photo of my studio today and a portion of the painting. The right-most image is the painting as I left it tonight. It may not seem like that much progress has been made, but I've shifted and repainted two of the planters, begun to paint the plants, and started to think about her hands...