The Grid: Exploring the Roscoe Village neighborhood, Chicago Sun-Times, July 11, 2018
We had our May Open Studios at the Cornelia Arts Building this past Friday and I decided to print some photos on canvas to both show something new and demonstrate how my photos are the foundation for my paintings. These shots are from 2013 and 2016 and have never been shown.
It's been a while since I put up a blog post and a while since I finished some paintings. Last week I finished "A Little Uneven" and today I finished up "Claustrophobia". Both are imaginary cityscapes where I'm trying to pull in more abstract elements and really flatten out the perspective to focus on color, shape, and texture.
For the past couple of months, I've been working on a new series of black and white paintings. They are based on Instagram photos I shoot on walks during my lunch break. Back in the studio, I create charcoal sketches from the photos and then use those sketches to make the paintings using oil pigment sticks. Many times, I will shoot the photograph, do the sketch, and create the painting in the same day. My day job at a digital agency is now located at The Merchandise Mart, so this series of cityscape paintings is really just me exploring this new work neighborhood along the Chicago River. I'm still focusing on the older architectural elements, the steel bridges, and L trains, along with their surrounding modern architecture. Lately, I feel like I'm drawn to the various abstract shapes in the compositions and this method allows me to create quickly in a looser way since I'm using the pigment sticks as a drawing tool.
Click images to view larger.
I have been working on this painting on-and-off now for a couple years and finally finished it up this past week. It's a large piece on panel with a lot of layers and texture that was originally sketched using spray paint and acrylic. I based it on a photo I took in the West Loop in the Fulton Market District right before a big upswing in neighborhood development and before Google moved in.
I just finished up this New York cityscape that I have been painting on-and-off again for a couple months. It will be on view at the Cornelia Arts Building Open Studios, happening Friday October 6th, 6-10pm.
Here's the original sketch that I based the painting on which is based on a photo I took on the corner of Wooster and Broome St. in New York City.
These are a couple of recently finished paintings inspired by The South Loop in Chicago and The West Village in New York City. I started by sketching some compositions with charcoal and then moving on to oil on canvas. These are both large-scale pieces - the first two in a new series where I'm working on oversized canvas. One is from my imagination and one is based on a photograph I took.
I was going through some old sketchbooks this week while doing some studio organizing and found an old sketch that I had been wanting to make a painting from for a while. So I grabbed one of the blank 36x48" canvases I had in the studio and started work on this piece. It's imaginary, but influenced both by the South Loop in Chicago and Tribeca in New York City. Both neighborhoods have a mix of old warehouses and new modern architecture built with steel and glass that emphasizes abstracted forms. I've been thinking about the building booms in Chicago and New York lately and how the mix of old and new architecture is shaping the urban landscape. I began by sketching the composition on primed canvas using oil pigment sticks and then started painting with brushes. It's in the early stages but I'm liking where the color palette is headed.
I've gone back-and-forth working on these Marina Towers paintings over the last 6 months or more and now they're done! The Marina Towers buildings are a couple of my favorites and are very unique architectural gems. Created by Bertrand Goldberg in the mid-60's, they were meant to be a 'city within a city' with modern conveniences and to help bring people back from the suburbs to live downtown. Located along the Chicago River, I always try to find different vantage points to admire Marina Towers.
I have about a dozen paintings going right now in various stages, but just completed a couple of new ones. I've been experimenting with more layers but letting under paintings show through for contrast and adding thicker paint to different areas of the surface. I'm also enjoying a looser working style and playing with some of the more abstract elements of architecture.