Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sammy's Nocturne



Sammy's Nocturne
Oil on Canvas 16" X 20"


If you follow my work, you will soon discover that I delight in ironies and contradictions. This is an example, however subtle. Here is a mundane scene that's obviously urban, at night. To paint in daylight would be nothing spectacular, much less interesting. But on a lonely rainy night, the explosion of light and color invokes all kinds of imagination and wonder. (Whether or not I captured it well enough, I leave for you to decide). But there is light creeping out of doorways, looming dark shapes on the streets, blazes of color, shaded windows. What is going on here? Of course, Hopper was the master of this in work that is deeply psychlogical and compelling.
The story of this is simple enough. My son and his wife, whom I have mentioned before in these blogs, live on the upper west side of Manhattan on the fringe of Spanish Harlem. Look out the street side window of their apartment and this is what you see. I got to thinking about what this trite setting would look like at night in the rain--all those reflections--and asked him to photograph it on some rainy night. Some months later I received an email with the photo that inspired this painting. I started immediately, made the necessary "artistic license" kind of adjustments and here it is. Trite or profound?

6 comments:

Barbara Pask said...

Hi Jack, Nice to see you posting again. Love this painting , great colors and so interesting. I love wet streets with reflections.

Jack Riddle said...

Thanks Barb--Yes, I've been off and on for awhile--so many things going on in our lives now--but I hope for a "comeback" now. As for wet streets, they're great in daylight,too. Not necessarily this view but others with building and people reflections. I'll work on more now that I have a "source."

Marian Fortunati said...

I LOVE it!!
Your son is a great guy to send you the food for this inspiration!!

I envy you your long stay in San Miguel painting with Frank. I know you had a fabulous time.

Jack Riddle said...

Marian--thanks! I really enjoyed your blog and the videos of you and friends in Frank's workshop. Made me yearn for Mexico again...

Joanne said...

Jack,

This is a wonderful painting. I love all the colors, and the stores, the lights, the reflections, and the subject matter. You have done a really fine job on this one... love it!

Jack Riddle said...

Joanne--thanks!I probably won't get another shot at doing something in this location as my son and his wife are moving! Their destination is the northern "finger" of Manhattan--Washington Heights near the G.W. Bridge. But it's a beautiful area--Ft. Tryon Park, Cloisters, etc. Stay tuned...