Monday, May 23, 2011

Parisian Elegance

Pigalle Balcony 21 1/2" x 14"

Wandering through Paris, it's impossible not to be enthralled with it's beauty, and certainly the architecture is at the forefront. Every avenue seems to be lined with elegant buildings displaying elaborate architectural details, from sculptural stone work to decorative wrought iron. This was actually a fairly typical large multi-story building with numerous windows and balconies, and altogether striking. One of the more difficult things for me, when faced with an abundance of rich imagery like that, is in defining a focal point and distilling it down to the essence of what I want to say. So I reduced it to this view of a single balcony enhanced by the summer flowers, which really 'explained' my interest in the whole building. Interestingly, the street level of the building was unoccupied store fronts covered in graffiti, which were a marked contrast to the classical details of the apartments above. Although there was probably a painting involving that juxtaposition as well, I preferred this instead!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More French Scenery

River View, Mouleydier 21 1/2" x 14"

Another painting of France, in fact it's the same building as in the previous post viewed from across the river. I found this scene inspiring, not only in it's architectural beauty, but also from a compositional point of view. The diagonal zig-zag of the of the rampart, treetops and clouds along with the vertical elements of the stairs, the evergreens and buildings created an interesting dynamic. I also enjoyed the shadows and dappled sunlight coming through the trees on a summer afternoon. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to deal with the lacy foliage of the trees against the darks or the masonary of the walls when I began, but apparently that seems to be standard operating procedure - just dive in and figure it out!