Saturday, August 1, 2009

In Progress: "Main Street"

When I originally created this artist blog back in December 2008, it was my intent to post works in progress as well as finished pieces. Unfortunately I haven't been very faithful to that intent, as I have primarily posted canvases after their completion rather than in progress.

Today's post returns to the original intent. I began this large (36 x 48 inch) canvas last week and have allowed it to sit since then as I considered its next metamorphosis. The composition is based on a photograph I took over the Independence Day holiday weekend while visiting my sister and her family in Mount Airy, Maryland. It depicts an intersection of that town's Main Street. I loved the unusual flat-iron shaped building that stands at this intersection, so I quickly snapped a photo of it as we walked to lunch.

Last week, I developed the composition using the original digital photo as a resource. Prior to beginning, I primed the canvas (which I had stretched myself) with an abstract collage of acrylic colors. That is the underpainting one can still see in this stage of the work. I like working on top of a confused color field - I feel that it encourages me to work more loosely. Then, I sketched my composition using a soft brush filled with burnt umber oil paint slightly diluted with painting medium. From there, I began to build up the painted surface.

Because this is a large canvas for me, it will likely take several extended sessions to complete this painting. Once it is finished, I will post the final results.

"Main Street" (tentative title). Oil on stretched canvas, 36 x 48 inches. In progress; begun July 2009.

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