Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rainy NYC Street Painting Start Today

The paintings I'm working toward finishing needed a break today. And, I'm so entrenched in this "painting the town" groove that I started a new, rainy, New York City, street scene. The three paintings lining the floor in my home studio that require more attention are all small, all 16"h x 20"w. (That's just this studio ... I have many, many more in progress ... that are waiting to call me back to business.) And, for the last few days I've been staring, intermittently, at the gigantic (currently empty) mantel and two-story fireplace in our new house's family room. Time to go big.

I feel like doing that in general.

In honor, too, of my painting "Rainy Day in NYC" winning the top prize and selling at the Art League's 'scapes show this month ... I returned to the rainy day, New York City theme. The award reception is Thursday night, August 12, 6:30-8:00pm in the Art League Gallery (at the Torpedo Factory), 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA.

This one is perhaps temporarily called "New York State of Mind". It's 40"h x 30"w. Here you're seeing it in three different stages, painting day one, about six hours of straight painting time. (Add about two hours of thinking, composing time before I started painting.)

I started with a thin application of Burnt Sienna and French Ultramarine Blue to lay in my darks and rough in the sketch. I'm working on a Senso clear acrylic-primed linen canvas that has a medium tooth. By thin application, I just don't load the brush with too much paint and I let the tooth of the canvas keep it from getting too thick. I also don't draw (with paint) any more than I have to. This is a guideline for myself only ... and I'll be making decisions later about how far to develop each section of the painting ... so no use putting in too much "stuff" now. By the way, that gray rectangle at the top of the photo for Step One is the shadow cast from my easel. Oops. No going back at this stage.

Step two I start putting in some of the lights in thicker, opaque paint. This is when I start grasping how large this canvas really is. I keep mixing pretty large puddles of paint... and they keep disappearing. This is actually a bit different than what I normally do. I'm going to start this painting with more solid shapes with little variation in hue, temperature and value within each area. Subtleties will come later as I need/want them.

Step 3: I just keep adding more paint. I don't allow myself to get bogged down in any one area of the painting. No details!!! Throughout I keep looking for abstract, simple, interesting shapes. Those shapes are what correct the drawing.

See more of my urban street scenes in the Places section, Gallery Pages on my web site: www.JillBanks.com.

I've been painting this in my newly expanded studio space downstairs in my massively under renovation house. No matter what problems the rest of the house has -- this is wonderful space to paint in. I've taken over two areas that flow into each other with fantastic light (and ventilation) from windows on three sides, tall ceilings so I can paint tall paintings, and tons of room so I can back up and really get a good look at my painting as it progresses. It doesn't get any better than this.

I'm probably done painting for today. My feet hurt and I have other art business to attend to. But, it's been a fun day in the "office."

"New York State of Mind" work in progress - day one, oil on Senso linen, 40"h x 30"w, copyright Jill Banks 2010.

Web: www.jillbanks.com
Blog: jillbanks.blogspot.com
Email: jillbanks1@aol.com
Phone: 703.403.7435

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