Monday, June 9, 2008
Central Park Revisited
Top: Stone Bridge in Winter
Oil on Canvas 20" X 16"
Bottom: Sunday in the Park
Oil on Canvas 20" X 16"
I hinted in my last blog that the painting "The Road to Salzburg" was to be my farewell to winter. Well, it wasn't. It's probably because those of us in Northern New England are simply obsessed with winter and can't let it go. I'm not going to speculate though because winter does give me some decent painting opportunities.
"Stone Bridge in Winter" came to me by way of my son. In my blog of 5/28 I told of our trip to New York and spending some time in Central Park. My son Tom and his wife live on 104th St., a couple of short blocks from the park and spend a lot of time there. He's also a pretty good photographer and when he saw the paintings that resulted from our visit to the park, he sent me some of his photos. I picked the one of the stone bridge as it is a subject I really liked the first time and this was a chance to do it in a new way. In his photo, the bridge was centered, but I moved it a bit to the left to get more out of the colors and light in the snow on the right. Of course I had to change the perspective a bit. His camera saw a lot of blue (which I find most digital cameras do without adjustment) so I toned it down a bit, but left the blue in the shadow areas, particular around the base of the bridge. I minimized the background detail to keep the focus on the subject. I like the way it turned out and learned more about how a painter can use a photo creatively. Somebody who knows more about using photos in a painting than I do (are you listening Frank Gardner?), ought to deal with this as a blog subject.
"Sunday in the Park" uses this often photographed bridge in the park-the name escapes me--in an impressionist mode, irresitably. I put an extra bit of arch in the bridge, which has really a much smoother arc, because there is a Japanese bridge here in a local park that I really admire that has such an arch, almost like a hovering bird. I also put just one boat in the picture. There were several in the photo. That's my interest in solitary things popping up again. I resisted the temptation to show more backgound detail and hyped the reflections in the water--particularly the low lying willow, and the colors. I also messed with the sky, as I imagine Monet or one of my other impressionist pals would have done. Again--using a photograph creatively, I hope.
All in need is a thumbs up from Tom and I'll be OK. Maybe even a couple of more ideas...