Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Subway Interior, in progress

I'm working on a new subway painting. Drawings for the composition have floated around my studio for a couple years and the painting was finally started last September, at the same time as I was working on Flying Torpedo.

Here's how the painting looked recently:

in progress, 16 Feb
26" x 15", oil on linen

The following was originally planned for the advertising at the top:

However, the partial face of a woman, her hand holding a card, no longer seemed right. After exploring new ideas, I decided to split the ad into two separate ones:

A red-faced Tengu - a creature found in Japanese folklore - on the left. A woman on the right holding a photo of another woman with her eyes shut. The tiers of space and narrative, running from the small photo to the advertisements themselves, and then to the overall composition, had a rhythm and energy that felt right and created an interesting flow.

The painting yesterday, after these changes:

in progress, 26 Feb
26" x 15", oil on linen

As for why Tengu? I've always wanted to include one in a painting on account of a significant personal event that happened at the Tengu Restaurant in San Diego in 1982. Great sushi too, but  the restaurant is now long closed.


  1. Andrew, wonderful composition! I have never heard of a tengu before. What is the significance of his long nose? (We’re hoping to go to NYC in April to see your show at the new gallery)

  2. Hello Allison. Originally, tengu was often depicted as a bird of prey; over time the beak evolved into a long nose.
    I'm glad you like how this painting is coming along and I hope you'll be able to see my exhibition in New York in April. Most, if not all, of the work currently being shown at the Greenville County Museum of Art will be coming to New York ... plus a couple new paintings.



"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