Monday, December 13, 2021

Subway Checkpoint, in progress

A painting on the easel that's close to completion:

Subway Checkpoint, in progress
24" x 28", oil on linen

As with most of my compositions this piece took multiple drawings to develop. Over the course of the drawings, I try to work out the spatial problems that emerge. Here is the final drawing that was used to transfer the image to canvas:

Subway Checkpoint, drawing #7
24" x 28". pencil on paper with green oxide pastel tone on reverse

No matter how much the composition has been worked out, however, there are always changes that need to be made once I start painting. Sometimes the changes are minor, but in this painting, there were three significant changes. 

First, the boy in a baseball cap went away, and then - though I'd already painted her face and hand - his mother went after him. A faint ghost remained where she used to be:   

Finally, the blonde woman on the right turned her head to look at the man showing his ID:

Each change improved the flow and made the composition stronger. 

The major parts left to paint now are the interior of the booth and the walls.


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"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