Working on the first painting of the new year. I'm going to push to finish it tomorrow for the exhibition submission. It's going well, so it shouldn't be hard to finish it off later tonight. My working title is Stairs, but that might change. The sky is a lot darker than I intended, but the pinkish grey mixture works somehow. I just don't know if there is enough subject field depth when I squint my eyes for my liking.
This work is based on a photo I took about ten years ago in Bisbee, AZ. It was a rainy wet day when we were walking around and the old buildings had such a haunting aura about them. At the time I was taking a photography class and learning to use my camera better. Admittedly, the point of taking the class was really to just be able to take better photos of my paintings once I knew how to manually adjust my 35mm camera. I was indeed a better photographer afterwords, but I developed a passion for hitting the road to take photos as a result. I dragged my wife all over the state taking photos of old ghost towns, stark desert scenes (joshua trees and the mountains on the way to Las Vegas from Phoenix), old towns like Bisbee and downtown scenes. Once I discovered the joys of digital photography this unexpectedly became a tool for my painting - part of the process.
Back to that day in Bisbee. I fell in love with that haunted feeling of that day. The sense that the past was ever present within the present and would linger well into the future whether it was the old spirits of the town still wandering around or just the stain of their lives upon ground they once stood it's hard to say. Nonetheless, the buildings, streets, staircases, and cobble stone paths are forever haunted and there is something truly romantic about that.