Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Sky Above, the Sea Below

Top: "Sticking It Out"
Bottom: "Bare Bones"

We actually did have a spell of good weather a couple of weeks ago, so on my daily walk, I decided to try to find some subjects to paint. On one particularly clear cold morning, I happened to start thinking about trees in my neighborhood. In the summer they are loaded with foliage and in the winter they are stripped bare. Nothing new, right? There is one aprticularly huge old oak a couple of blocks down the street that I've had my eye on before. This time I looked straight up and saw this very dramatic pattern of limbs illuminated by a hazy sun. Bingo! There was "Bare Bones." I wanted to be sure that my viewer saw the setting as if looking straight up, so I emphasized the highlights to show that the light came from different sides depending where the branch was located--to the left, right, above or below the light source. In a fit of Michaelangelo channeling, I even gave some thought to tacking the piece on the ceiling! Anyway it's a 20 X 16, oil on canvas.
Another morning saw one of those golden rosy mornings we have here in winter. Part of my walk include a walkway above this huge marina which sees 100s of vessels of all types in the summer. Just about all of them are hauled in the winter--put up on land--and covered in heavy white plastic "skin wrap." All except this guy, sitting all alone, all opened up, as if it were ready to go at a moment's notice. Note in the background the white shapes. Those are some of the boats hauled for the winter. People tell me I am attracted to lonely and isolated things. Could be. But there is a certain kind of poetry in that that I hope you feel in this scene. This is also a 20 X 16, oil on canvas.
So when you're out there, look up, look down!


Ambera said...

Really nice contrast in the top piece!

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Jack, Nice designs on both of these.
"People tell me I am attracted to lonely and isolated things." I think that is true about your work. That is why it reminds me of Hopper so much. It is a feeling that runs through all of your stuff independent of the subject.
I'm going to make just one suggestion if you don't mind. I think that it would add to the feeling of looking into the bright sun if you lost a few of the edges on the branches right where the sunlight is.

Jack Riddle said...

Ambera--glad you like it.
Frank, of course--your suggestion makes a lot of sense. That's one reason I have this blog--to get ideas from good people such as you. I'll never "mind." Many thanks.