Thursday, November 28, 2013

Choosing Local Scenery

                         "The Meeting of the Rivers"

I love painting in Maine in the summer and Florida in the winter.  But I thought it only fair to my fellow St. Louisans to paint a local scene that they would recognize.

This is Carl Milles fountain entitled "Meeting of the Rivers" which stands in front of Union Station.
It symbolically represents the confluence of the Missouri and the Mississippi rivers.  Surrounded by various mythological creatures, the two main statues caused quite a stir in the fountain's debut.  The Mississippi is represented by the male figure and the Missouri by the female statue.  Originally titled "The Wedding of the Waters", the nude figures were condemned by some of the more Victorian citizens of the period.  Eventually, though, the sculptor only had to change the name and not the statues.

This composition relied on the rule of thirds, with the vertical tower on one third, and the shape of the station and the line of statues on two horizontal thirds.  To suggest the spray and mist from the fountain, soft edge gradation was used.  Gradation in value from sky to building to statues is also helpful in suggesting distance and area of emphasis, with the darker statues against the lighter background.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

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