Saturday, November 16, 2019

Amusement Park Ride

This is the final drawing for a painting that I'm currently working on - a composition of riders on an aerial ride in an amusement park:

Amusement Park Ride (final drawing)
2019, pencil on paper with green oxide pastel on reverse, 36" x 48"

The idea for this image came from the 'Flying Skooter' ride at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, a couple miles northwest of Washington, DC. Except for the carousel, all the rides are long-gone now, sold or demolished by 1970. I went there many times as a teenager and it was my next favorite ride after the roller coaster. Each car had room for two people, and by moving a large rudder in front, one could make it rotate and point in different directions while spinning around the central axis. A lot of fun for the time, but tame by the standards of contemporary rides.

photo from A General History of Glen Echo Park, by Richard A. Cook, 1997

The initial drawings were simpler and included the rudder. I still may go back to this original composition for a smaller painting, but as subsequent drawings became larger, the rudder started to seem too dominant. I dropped it and added more cars and couples.

Amusement Park Ride (drawing #1)
1991, pencil on tracing paper. 9 1/2" x 11"

Amusement Park Ride (drawing #2)
1993, pencil on paper. 9 1/2" x 11"
Amusement Park Ride, in  progress, detail of upper left quadrant
ca. 21" x 24"


  1. They had the best pinball arcade too!
    - Bob D

  2. Andrew, i love this exciting new composition! Can’t wait to see it finshed.

  3. Magical! Beautiful dancing of color.




"There is more power in telling little than in telling all."
- Mark Rothko

“The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meanings are unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”
- Magritte

"Now, the idea is to get everything right -- it's not just color or form or space or line -- it's everything all at once."
- Richard Diebenkorn