Easily one of my favorite commissioned paintings to date is the painting for American Anchor. The job parameters were wide open.All I was told was that it needed to be on a razor blade. Knowing that the company was based here in Massachusetts and specialized in installing anchor systems for high rise window washing gondolas, helped to bring things together quickly. The result was the was the
skyline with a widow washing squeegee wiping a path clear in the image.
After finishing this painting, I found that there was still a personal need to revisit the
skyline as a topic. It took some time but I eventually settled on a view of Boston from the
Longfellow bridge. I love this view of the city because it shows all of Back Bay including the Hatch Shell. I also decided to
show the scene during the fall season to really feature everything that New England has to offer.
The painting would be my fourth industrial landscape and while some techniques were already hashed out like the development of the water from 'Mors Ex Tennebris' and the breakdown of the buildings from 'Through Sabine's Eyes', I was still anxious to develop some of the shortcomings of those same techniques. For example, in the American Anchor painting of
I tried a scratching technique that was hopefully going to allow me to get some
very fine details. What I found was that the paint that I was using hand a
slightly rubbery surface tension. That caused it to pull larger amounts of
paint up rather than simply create thin lines. With 'Longfellow Fall' I was
able to take that and mix in a reworkable illustration paint with my normal
colors. This allowed me to incorporate the scratching technique successfully
this time around.
|Through Sabine's Eyes|
Each painting has to be a step forward. Even the smallest move forward compounds with the next making each painting better. There are mistakes and failures in every painting, it is what we take from those shortcomings that created the successes in future works.