Friday, May 31, 2013

Return Of The Monarch

                                                         An original acrylic painting, on gesso primed masonite
                                                         10x8", unframed
                                                         $300.00, (plus $12.00, pack and ship)

     The savage and record setting weather which has chilled and soaked the heart of
America this spring ( or should I say this absence of spring ), is finally showing signs
of giving us a reprieve at last.  The wild flowers are starting to bloom.  So, soon we may
be seeing some of the first monarch butterflies, working their way northward, on their
annual migration.  Perhaps this little painting offers a feel of those brighter days ahead.

                                                            (click on image to enlarge)

   The composition of this piece is a simple, reverse "S" curve, leading from the
upper right to the lower left.

   Giclee fine-art prints of this painting are available.

Ten Ten Celestial

                                                         An original oil painting, on gesso primed masonite
                                                         15x24", unframed
                                                          $1,300.00,  (plus $25.00, pack and ship)

     When the old Mount Adams section of Cincinnati was first laid out, the steep and
difficult terrain necessitated a plan of sharply winding and climbing streets and stairways.
The devout, early developers gave the streets heavenly names, which matched the views
out over the Ohio River valley and the downtown area of the city, and also because those
climbing streets led up to the church and monastery on top of the hill.

     The lots were narrow, which was typical for that era of the 19th century, when
brownstone style structures with formal facades, filled the lots from side to side, as well
as from the front sidewalk back, to perhaps a small bit of open space at the rear.
Some later builders, with less deep pockets, made do with frame structures, which
they tucked in between the brownstones.

     As the city expanded to the suburbs in the mid 20th century, the old, core areas of
town, such as Mount Adams became forgotten time-capsules of the city's history,
bypassed and cut off by the freeways which cut through it to provide convenient
commuting for suburban home owners, as was all too typical of what happened to so
many of America's cities.
     Then the artists discovered Mount Adams.  They found that the charm of the twisting
streets and quaint old houses, provided endless subject matter for paintings.  And, as so
often happens when artists move in and create an art colony, it became a popular
destination place for the young social crowds.  It was that very popularity which became
its downfall.  Property values and rents jumped, making it difficult for artists to keep their
studio, work spaces.   New "developers" saw that they could profit handsomely by tearing
down the low-density housing and raising apartment buildings in its place, to house the
influx of new residents.
     By the mid 1960's, the house at one thousand and ten Celestial, as well the
neighboring houses, had been demolished and replaced with a blandly utilitarian
apartment building.  So,  this painting is a remainder among the souvenirs from
a different time, a different world and a different life.

                                                         (click on image to enlarge)

I used an exaggerated perspective in this painting to emphasize the odd angles
created by the steep viewing points.  I thought of the composition as an assemblage
of bold shapes which could contrast the heavy masonry of the brownstone structures
with the more timid, wood-frame structures, set back from their domineering neighbors.