Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1010 S. Jean



So the painting now has a name, but as I've shared the digital working images with folks I've noticed that this piece isn't very photogenic. Sometimes not all artworks photograph well, or for that matter street scenes.  I spent last Thursday Evening until Saturday morning wondering the streets of San Francisco with my camera in hand.  I took over a thousand photographs and even though they're a great leap in the right direction of capturing the city's feel and providing a deep well of source material for my paintings.  I can't say these photos even come close to being there.  It's my hope that the resulting canvases will come close.

One thing I have noticed about my wonderings around Portland, OR and San Francisco, CA is how you experience buildings.  1010 S. Jean despite being born from a sketch with no photo base captures the natural perspective you view buildings by when walking down city streets.  I find myself kneeling on one knee and adjusting the angle of the camera upwards to capture the whole building and this yields a very dynamic perspective that is true to the reality of how we view buildings of any significant height while walking down city streets.  Considering that doing so requires looking up to the top and back down to the base of the structure in order to take it all in.  Unless your at a distance you can't view the whole building at once and usually loose the base of the building if you do so with your view abstructed by other structures or trees.  It's odd to realize that when artists paint structures with flattened perspectives that they are in fact to a certain extent abstracting what is being experienced and this isn't really anything new considering the ancient cave paintings throughout the world.  We somehow stylize/abstract reality in order to convey it as human beings.