The summer is slipping by too rapidly. The days fill up with activities, and I am not spending as much time painting as I want to / need to. Nobody to blame but myself, but that’s the way it is. My intention was, and is, to create a series of Philadelphia Cityscapes during the summer that showcase the city, but not the all-too-familiar icons – or do those icons, but bring new viewpoint or vision to them.
Still, I have completed a Study for a painting I envisioned, Welcome to the Boyd.
|Study for the Boyd, 12 x12″|
Background: The Boyd was a Grand Movie Palace of the first order in Philadelphia that, after about 1950 or so, passed its prime and suffered increasing disuse, misuse, neglect and decay. Now it is just a hulk, and I wanted to paint it for what it meant and what it has become. BUT…. there is no longer anything picturesque about its exterior. There isn’t even any decent graffiti on it. I tried to get inside to paint the interior, but The Boyd is now controlled by lawyers in NYC and even the Preservationists can’t get access. However, when I discovered the stage doors to the Boyd I knew I’d found the way to incorporate all this in a strong visual image:
So after that study, I undertook the painting on the larger scale it needed:
|Welcome to the Boyd, 24 x40″ Oil on canvas|
These two paintings of the Boyd also continue my exploration of the contrast between transparent paint (the doors) and opaque paint (the bricks and the sign), and I like what is happening there. These paintings also introduced yet another feature, by painting on a metallic ground.
In addition to those paintings, Donald Leang organized a group of us from the Sketch Club to paint at the Logan Circle, facing the challenge of depicting an urban fountain a la prima. Here’s the result of that effort, after a little touch-up in the studio:
|The Fountain at Logan Circle. 9 x12″ Oil on canvas|
Now I’ve got to find time to execute some other ideas I have for the Cityscape series – like the piano player in Reading Terminal Market, the Frank Rizzo mural in the Italian Market, and the towers of Liberty Place, and the Liberty Place towers in the afternoon sun.