Massachusetts

Winter Shadows

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I revisited this painting yesterday which I started this summer. The composition was inspired by Morandi’s work.  I thought of these buildings similar to his still life on a table.   The structure of these buildings was simplified; many windows, doors, wires, and staircase were eliminated. However, a few shapes remained that I thought were interesting.

The shadow of the spiral staircase in the summer and in the winter are slightly different. The shadows during the winter seemed more elongated than the shadows during the summer.   I decided to borrow interesting shapes of the shadow and added it to the yellow building. The staircase was purposefully excluded because it will no longer add any visual impact.  I added some light on the darker foreground which was inspired by a streak of lights in the parking lot.  I started to see some unresolved areas that need to be addressed  during my next visit.

Staircase and Two Rooftop Fans

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It has been almost a year since I painted this yellow building.  I visited this spot a few times last month to compose a new drawing.  Buildings next to it were eliminated for simplification, however, I kept the rooftop fans.  The staircase is in the center and it is drawn close to the relative size of the building.  I painted the first layer of colors to get the big shapes right.

Yesterday I revisited the drawing again and it did not seem that interesting.   Although it took a few hours to meticulously draw the staircase, I decided to erase it and start over.  Drawing the staircase is always exciting, it is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Triangular, rectangular shapes of all kinds are fitting together in a spiral.  Both positive and negative space are equally important.  An accurate observation is crucial yet the subject itself is rhythmic and playful.  I am always fascinated with this subject.

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I decided to enlarge the staircase to the size of the building; now it is the centerpiece of this painting.  I took the shadows from the mid afternoon which had some interesting circular shapes.  The fan ducts are not straight and each are slightly angled in the middle towards the center of the building.  I took this as an inspiration and decided to move half of the staircase slightly to the left.  It looked a bit awkward at first, but I think it added a little surprising element.

I started painting again this morning.  The green trees nearby inspired me to change the blue sky to green.  The shadow of the top level staircase seemed a bit heavy so it is morphed into simplified lines. The color of the fan duct changed from dark blue to green to bluish green color taken from the colors nearby.  While repainting the duct, the original dark blue is left around the edges as a reminiscence of its past color.  The two fan heads on both sides seemed a bit redundant so I removed the one from the left.  The red purple shape on the left seemed to be floating the green sky was brought down to cover it.  This painting is still in progress and I need to revisit this at least one more time.