Monday, May 3, 2010

My Hometown

Bruce Springsteen sang, "Take a good look around; this is your hometown."

Travel can be a motivator. Being in a new and unfamiliar environment can open our eyes and our senses to new subjects and compositions. We may be overlooking what a visitor to our hometown would see with enthusiastic eyes.

Here in St. Louis, the riverfront is the focal point of our history. When friends visit, they all want to see the Arch and the Mississippi River. Paddlewheelers, tugs and barges navigate under historic Eads Bridge and call to mind Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer. So why have I never painted them?

Getting all three elements into one painting is a challenge. But I went back to the basics. I've written before about using a frame to highlight the focal point. Recently, I've been employing silhouettes of buildings as a backdrop for architectural features in the foreground. So in this sketch, I focused on the tugboat framed by the bridge. The silhouette of the arch locates the scene but doesn't steal it.

The format of this composition is also a departure for me. Exploring a different format can be stimulating.

I have a workshop today, and two demonstrations for art groups this week so I may not post for a few days. But maybe soon I will have some new paintings to show you of my hometown!

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