Eight artists inspired by the beat of city streets
This story was featured in the September 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art magazine September 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art magazine September 2012 digital download here. Or simply click here to subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
“I have lived most of my life in Los Angeles and Southern California. When my wife first came here from Indonesia years ago, she was not able to get around very much. But after we met, we started exploring the city and this part of the state together. Seeing things anew through her eyes reawakened me to the beauty, excitement, and energy of this sprawling, diverse city. Urban environments are as striking and beautiful as any other, and the diversity and history give it layer upon layer of added meaning and interest. Even the most ‘urbanized’ parts of a city are beautiful; it all depends on your attitude and your point of view. Beauty is everywhere, if I am only willing to see it.”
“A LONG AFTERNOON began as a straightforward representation of an urban scene, but as I began to break rules—at first tentatively and later more forcefully—it took on a life of its own. I was just along for the ride as I watched it become more abstract and expressive. I always find this stage of the process very exciting because it really is full of surprises, and I haven’t the slightest idea what to expect. The journey may take days, months, or longer, but eventually the painting tells me I’m done.
“This particular painting is a result of three years of dialogue with the canvas. In the end, it became more about the expression of my identity than anything else, and I like that.”
Thomas Reynolds Gallery, San Francisco, CA; Anne Irwin Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; Sekula’s Fine Art & Antiques, Sacramento, CA; Anne Loucks Gallery, Glencoe, IL; Holton Studio, Emeryville, CA; terrymiura.blogspot.com.
“The theme for my paintings has always been the art of conversation. Capturing the movement, the body language, and the bond that we share as humans has been my intent. With my street scenes I also try to capture the energy and movement of the city. I lived in Manhattan for a summer, and I travel there often to paint on location. I never considered myself an overly patriotic person, but my first trip to the city after the September 11th tragedies changed that forever. Seeing the flags flying throughout the city brought tears to my eyes. The American flag is such a strong symbol of unity for our country. This painting reflects that oneness of our humanity and our country.”
“Seattle cityscapes hold a special place in my heart. My palette-knife technique is especially suited to the texture of the city, where the streets always seem well staged for reflections and energetic light. In FIRST AND PIKE, I was particularly intrigued by the presence of older and newer buildings and by the reflections of the colors from the older brick and newer glass skyscrapers. My paintings include urban scenes from cities like London, New York, and Shanghai, but I am still drawn to the uniqueness of Seattle. I could paint Seattle cityscapes for the rest of my life and never tire of the location or want for inspiration.”
Arlon Rosenoff Fine Art, Kirkland, WA.
“DOG NIGHTS OF SUMMER is one of many paintings derived from frequent road trips exploring Route 66 and other locales. Near West Hollywood I discovered Pink’s, a famous and popular hot dog stand since 1939. Like many of my urban subjects, it was photographed in sweltering daylight heat. I chose to portray it at a more comfortable time—early evening, with a trace of the fading sunset coupled with various artificial lights on the building—and with patiently waiting patrons anticipating their favorite version of classic American fast food. I prefer painting urban landscapes for the geometric patterns, planes of light and shadow, varieties of signage, and the social and psychological implications found in such spaces.”
“The urban landscape speaks to me unlike other subject matter; I feel a sense of place. As people move about their lives, I capture a moment in time that is rich in color or moody with daylight fading to dusk. The history of the architecture lures me in as I quickly mix values on my palette. In this painting of the Tomboy Coffee Company in Telluride, CO, faded white letters adorn a brick-and-stone wall that radiates warmth as people stop for a moment to take in the day before moving on with their busy lives.”
Debra Huse Gallery, Balboa Island, CA; Bakersfield Museum of Art Collector’s Gallery, Bakersfield, CA; Sekula’s Fine Art & Antiques, Sacramento, CA; Lee Youngman Galleries, Calistoga, CA; www.keithwicks.com.
“The right time, the right place: The origin of so much art! Imagine Edward Hopper’s NIGHTHAWKS or EARLY SUNDAY MORNING at different times of day? Impossible. We depend on the moment in time.
“This painting began on a January night in New York City. Temperature: 10 degrees. The Knicks were playing at ‘the Garden,’ which is directly behind this scene. Life streamed in the streets: motion, blurs, iconic logos, traffic, and people—each in his or her own precise world. Tripod set, I documented the moment with photos (over 100) and created, in oil paint, a time sequence unlike any single photo, looking for a subject that said ‘New York night.’ I found it here.”
“FOGGY EVENING was painted in a very popular location in San Francisco. The city has some very interesting areas for repeat paintings, and each time I see something different and unique that I might have overlooked in previous attempts.
“FOGGY EVENING is painted with a limited palette, which also makes an interesting and intriguing composition. And I find paintings like that hold more of a challenge, which is what I enjoy the most.”
Featured in the September 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine September 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine September 2012 print edition
Or click here to subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
MORE RESOURCES FOR ART COLLECTORS & ENTHUSIASTS