|Downtown scene day 4, oil on linen, 24" X 40", 2016|
The next step
I have worked from the live nude periodically since the early 1970's. This blog started in my second year of working almost exclusively from the figure.
In the fall of 2015 I reintroduced still lifes and an occasional cityscape into my painting repertoire. Rather than abandon this figure blog or start a new one I decided to add them to the conservation.
All drawings and paintings posted on this blog were done entirely from live models or on location.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
I recently started a downtown cityscape. It is a view I have wanted to capture for years but was reluctant to attempt due to the complexity of the scene. Then I came across two painters, one long gone and one still working, that set this project into motion. The first was Canaletto an eighteenth century Italian urban painter. Two of his early Venetian scenes were on view at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. They both blew me away. I was inspired and humbled fully aware that I could never hope to work at his level.
The artist that actually got me to set off with my French easel was a British born New York based painter Rackstraw Downes. I attended a film and artist talk at the National Gallery where he was featured. I had been aware of Downes for decades but never keyed on the fact that he is primarily a plein air painter. The film left a lot to be desired, but seeing the 77 year old artist in person was an eye opener. He was clearly past his prime. Age and the rigors of painting outdoors had taken their toll. At 65 I'm just a little over a decade behind Downes. Best to hit the street while I still can.