Thursday, November 15, 2007

These two pieces were done for an oil company in downtown Denver. They are Acrylic on canvas and both measure five feet by nine feet
I must admit, I viewed these oil rigs in a fairly negative light. These rigs are often seen as blights on the landscape and noted for their harsh impact on the environment. From the beginning, I wanted to offer a positive view of the subject but not do a mere "puff" piece.

After a great deal of research I was a little surprised to find out that these structures often created biomes that had a very high concentration of sea-life. Under these artificial environments exist rich, very diverse communities of ocean dwellers.
The surface piece was inspired by a photo the client had that showed a large group of sea-lions resting on an oil drum used as a marker. I simplified the view showing three sea-lions and painting the barrel in a plain manner. The rest followed fairly easily. The landscape is a loose interpretation of the Santa Barbara coast.
The underwater scene was a little more difficult. I took liberties with the scale of the structure and the animals, to portray this scene accurately the vertical legs of the rig would of been much bigger. This painting is successful because the viewer understands the environment but the focus is on the animals. The movement through this painting is good and avoids the "aquarium" effect.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Another alley. When I started painting alleys in my neighborhood I had no idea I would strike such a chord with viewers. People have universally been drawn to these paintings and always seem to know right where that alley is. Alleys seem to have a life of their own and lend themselves to a more intimate view of a neighborhood.
When we were kids the alley behind my grandparents house beckoned with the promise of great adventure. Being allowed to explore and play in the "Alley" was almost a rite of passage.
Walking an alley affords one a glimpse into others lives that is not allowed from the street. People and even dogs seem more friendly in an alley and conversation is invited and you are able to linger and slow down.
I suppose I could go around and find alleys to paint but I think I will stick to those I know even though that will limit my output.

"Crested Butte, CO"

My maternal Grandmother was from Crested Butte and I have family buried in the old cemetery that is included in this painting.
A favorite family story is that my Great-grandfather "snowshoed" from the Floresta mine, several miles above Crested Butte, on Christmas Eve to marry my Great-grandmother. I love this story and even though things have changed considerably in this part of the world I like to think I've made some sort of connection. Circle of life indeed.