Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer in the City

Monday Morning on H Street, 24x20 oil on panel

     Today is the summer solstice and the heat and humidity have been hitting DC hard all week with another to follow. This time of year the sky becomes milky and the atmosphere hazy. The painting above was just completed and should give you an idea of what I mean. For those of you who are local, the view is from the middle of H St. just beyond the corner of Lafayette Square. I am looking towards 15th Street which would be two traffic lights up.

     As my recent work has concentrated on cityscapes I am often asked why and who inspired me. The answer is I have always enjoyed viewing urban paintings but didn't feel I wanted to paint them until I saw the George Bellows exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC.  I have long been a fan of his "Lone Tenement", which is in the permanent collection, but for the most part I was just aware of his boxing paintings and social commentary drawings. The exhibit was full of large, wonderful paintings of New York that brought to life many of the stories my parents, aunts and uncles had told me.  I left the exhibit itching to try my hand at painting the city and lucky for me I live just across the river from a beautiful one!  I have always loved city life as three of the greatest have been part of my experience. I have lived in New York City, Paris and now Washington DC.
      There are plenty of talented living artists to be inspired by as well and I follow the work of Ben Aronson, Greg Gandy, Jeremy Mann and Shelby Keefe. I am glad to include a woman in that list! Cityscapes seem to be dominated by male artists and I am not sure why that is so. Anyway, this artist is hooked for now and I can't wait to dig into the next one. I am thinking a nocturne or evening painting.  I want to play with lights again!
      ON EXHIBIT: "Wonderful Washington" at American Paintings Fine Art, 5118 MacArthur Boulevard, Washington DC  through September.  I have 5 cityscapes on view in this exhibit as well as some small landscapes from the DC metro area.