I'm behind in posting new work, but here is a bridge in the center of downtown Chicago which I finally figured out I should paint. It's easily accessible and slowly deteriorating. nI usually like to view things close up for more drama, so I stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up. It took 6 photos sown together to fit the whole bridge in. The reference photo I attached is one of the 6, along with my 8 hour pencil drawing.
Here is were I hit the point of success or failure. With every painting, I first fill everything with color to give a context to bounce off of. At some point, I have to start making leaps of faith hoping the composition comes together, which is quite unsettling. I often have to rub out areas and start over. There is a magic point where I see it will work and I can just refine details, the fun part where I loose track of time. The big point came when I had to darken the areas left white. I of course went too dark, than had to pull back. I never know for sure until I see it.
My watercolor, No.3 shaft house stairs, has been accepted into the Transparent Watercolor Society Annual national show! I usually throw in some opaque color and computer work to get the composition I want, but this one is pure transparent watercolor. The composition depicts my inner conflict of wanting to see what’s inside, and acting like an adult who doesn’t injure himself climbing an obviously dangerous structure. Copper mining website
I keep painting images of these towers on spindly columns, which would fall over within a day if someone attempted to build them. The idea came from a trip to Yellowstone, were I ran across a vein of columnar basalt along the road. Basalt is a volcanic rock that forms into hexagonal columns as it cools. The expose rock looks like a dense series of columns holding up a huge mass of rock. I like the scale and variety of textures, which I transformed into a row of towers, but I like the depth and uneasy balance created by seeing through the columns, hence the spindliness. I spend so much time drawing things that need to make sense in reality, that I purposely created something impossible.
Century Mine No.3 Hoist House I have been fascinated by the copper mines up in The Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan, and this is my favorite one because it's the only one that's mostly wood. I love the exploded, deteriorated nature of it, including the fact that it's sitting quietly along a side road with no fences or signs. I mirrored the Hoist House tower on either side, because I love the repetition of it. I also enjoyed creating depth inside the big opening for the mine car.