My favorite building in Denver to date, the Midwest Steel and Iron Works, was built in three phases, with the first completed at the turn of the 20th century. Subsequent additions, including the art deco tower built in the 1930’s, are entwined with a modern freeway built, while carefully wrapping around this sweet old building.
As you continue reading, each of the images shown typically represents four to eight hours of work - sometimes more. As the painting matures, the progress is much more difficult to detect in these images and so I’ve excluded some of the later days’ work in order to maintain interest and relevance to you, the viewer.
So, at 40" x 54", let's look at how I created my largest painting to date.
As you probably know by now, I'm drawn to my subjects for their irony, isolation, beauty and especially their "story" or the history behind them. I enjoy learning more about my subjects. In fact, I often do research on my own, but interestingly, I often learn about my subjects from the viewers. One painting in particular, "Leading Shadows" has garnered the most input from others and I've proven it out myself. Since the original painting recently sold, and I also just sold a print of it this month - this image seems to be hot right now - so I thought it might be fun to share it's development and some of the stories people I've met have shared with me.
Unfortunately, I neglected to snap a shot before I layered the first wash, so here it is with a warm wash - over the drawing.
Back in 1996, when I was really young, I painted a little place called The Red Room - a mainstay tavern on 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. This painting was always one of my favorites, and is featured in my notecard set.
"The Red Room" - oil on canvas - 21" x 16"
Over the years I've had such an affection for this building that....
Although I've been negligent in adding "Neighborhood Survivor" to my web store, I'm still going to share my creation process with you. I love this little building - the North Avenue Garage. So it's fitting that the perspective in my painting makes the building appear much more significant, much larger, than it is in real life.
Here's how it began - as a pencil drawing on the canvas - using a grid to maintain proper perspective and proportion.
Whenever I create a piece, it's painted in layers. Each painting has its own personality and process. Sometimes I paint the wash, the first layer, with similar colors to the finished product and sometimes I use the "opposite" or complementary colors for the underlayment. In the case of "The Harp," I mixed it up a bit.
See how I brought this classic tavern, "The Harp," to life for the Milwaukee Art Museum's inaugural Artnonymous event.
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Quality and workmanship are very important to me. I use the finest artist grade materials in creating my original paintings, and all paintings are custom-framed by professionals. Likewise, archival grade media and pigment inks are used in creating my prints - both open and limited editions - and limited edition prints are numbered, titled and personally signed by me. Whether you purchase a painting or print, the work should be colorful and stable for generations.