I’m working on some more linemen scenes. This setup has five different 1:34 scale Altec truck models. They are made by First Gear and available from the Altec company store. The truck in the back with the large corkscrew is called a Digger Derick.
Five Altec utility trucks on a ping pong table. Lighting courtesy of bike headlamps and inexpensive LED drawer lights.
I went on a walk through the woods collecting branches to use as fallen trees, but haven’t figured out how to work them into the composition. The problem is that you can only see the trees when they are in the foreground, but then they block the view of the trucks in the background.
The telephone pole is made of dowel and held in place with a piece of kneaded eraser.
My plan is to put people into this painting. With this in mind, I have become a student of construction sites and road crews, trying to learn authentic worker poses. I will probably make some two-dimensional cutouts of scale workers that I can place in the scene. This should give me the silhouettes and the shadows.
The same scene with the room lights off.
Another thing I need to work on is the background. My intention is to create a nocturne, but it should be possible to make an image that is much brighter and more chromatic. Adding some color to the sky and some sort of background, be it trees or buildings should help.
All these booms in the air lead to interesting compositions.
I am also experimenting with different formats, like this square crop.
I like this square crop.
Another nice thing about these truck scenes is that can paint the trucks any color I want. I’m still working on the composition, but am looking forward to choosing a color palette.
To the Honorable Board of Directors
Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District
I have the honor to transmit herewith the final report of the Chief Engineer on the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, covering the history of the project from its inception to its completion and including a description of the technical and other phases of the work.
Joseph B. Strauss
Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District
So reads the first page of The Golden Gate Bridge, Report of the Chief Engineer to the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway District California. This book was a commemorative souvenir for the people involved in the construction of the bridge. Its text describes the history of the bridge, from the first proposal, through design and construction. The book and the bridge both include many art deco motifs from the era.
As a young boy, I spent hours on the living room floor, pouring over my grandfather’s copy, looking at each construction photo and carefully examining the blueprints. The book inspired a lifelong fascination with construction and engineering.
As a child I would build suspension bridges from dowel and string. Now in mid life, I am using oils and brushes to paint the construction scenes I imagined so many years ago.
I saw “Observing, Observing (a white cup)” at Prographica over the weekend. The show, which includes paintings, photographs and collage, focuses on the challenge of creating an interesting image of a white cup on a white surface. It runs through October 31st, 2015.
Graham Shutt, “White Cup 000a”, 2015, archival inkjet print, edition 1 of 3, 6 x 6″
Evelyn Woods, “White Cup #2″, 2015, oil on board, 11 x 14”
Brian Blackham, “A Cup”, 2015, oil on panel, 16 x 12″
Amy Huddleston, “Night Cup”, 2015, oil on linen, 14 x 20.5″
Joe Crookes, “White Cup”, 2015, archival inkjet print 1/8, 10.5 x 8”
This week’s word is “Bundle”. Manet’s painting, “A Bunch of Asparagus”, immediately came to mind so I headed to my local produce department for some baby asparagus. To reinforce the theme of “bundle”, I included a second bundle, this one consisting of eleven new yellow pencils. I chose the pencils because they were roughly the same size and shape as the asparagus but lent a complementary color. My hope was that viewers would see the juxtaposition of the pencils and asparagus and immediately see that the commonality was the bundling.
Bundle of pencils with a bundle of asparagus.
I couldn’t resist a little art history joke. The picture below is an homage to Manet’s “L’asperge”. Here’s the story as told by the Musée d’Orsay:
Manet sold Charles Ephrussi“A Bunch of Asparagus” for eight hundred francs. But Ephrussi sent him a thousand francs, and Manet, who was a master of elegance and wit, painted this asparagus and sent it to him with a note saying: “There was one missing from your bunch”.
At today’s crit, I hung a few bundle ideas on the easel, returned to my seat, waited a moment, then said, “there’s one missing from the bunch” and produced this final image.
This week’s Word-of-the-Week is “Severe”. I considered severe weather, with a falling barometer on a window sill with coast guard weather flags flying in the distance against a blood red sky and I thought about a severe snow storm with snow drifting against the window sill. I also considered a severe cliff face and a severe hair style, but in the end settled on severe looking shards of broken glass that could make severe cuts.