Friday, September 21, 2007

Night Trains

Overwhealmed with other obligations, I've still managed to get a good amount of painting done since my last post here, but I've only just photographed my four new pieces. The first one here is "Night Trains", 18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas. It's part of my ongoing series of nocturnes and also the LA river. According to my friend William Wray, we're apparently founding members of the "LA River School of Painting".
This painting depicts a train yard, just east of downtown Los Angeles by the LA River. I was on a bridge, above the river, just as the sun had set. Not a place I'd prefer to spend an evening alone, I painted the view back in my studio rather than plein-air. It's really a study in blues, a narrow variety of color, almost a tonalist piece. I chose to paint it with a loaded brush, there's alot of pigment on there, giving it a liquid feel without much for hard edges. Painting the night is difficult, as I've said before, because it doesn't photograph well and the artist needs a good color memory and sense of color harmony. It's easy to let the painting go into black, and I try to never let it get too dark, allowing the viewer to see into this shadowy world. The earliest part of the evening is like a magical hour, it really casts a melancholy mood onto the landscape.