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Friday, October 8, 2010

Haunting images of early foreclosures

"Cliffside Condos" in Pastel
9x12 on Sanded Pastel Board
This painting is study of another Daniel Plumer photograph.  He's a fabulous photographer from Tucson, who I found on FaceBook (his daughter is my nephew's sister in law ??) when someone posted a photo of his and it haunted me until I contacted him and asked to paint it. He kindly said I could paint his photos and share them here.  So here's one I've been working on for a month or more.  I think it's done.

Here's the original photograph
a photo of the photo (sorry) by Daniel Plumer
find Daniel on SmugMug
And of course a few progress photos from the past few weeks.  This one sat on an easel (right beside me as I painted a few others this month) and I stared at it in progress.  It took that long to REALLY observe everything in this photo.  The perspective of the structure inside the overhanging walls set me back about 30 layers of pastel (thank goodness for good sanded paper)

Charcoal sketch 
the Toy Box
First color pass

first color WASHED with water

working on cave walls

starting to look set "back" in the cave

Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions if you have any.  I am VERY NEW at this and sometimes I think I'm just "coloring" and others I think I "finally get it" . . mixing colors in Oil Paint is so different that mixing colors in Pastel.    But WHAT FUN.

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B.Kelly said...

I really like it, I've never given pastels a shot they do look like fun though. Keep it up, your getting it! Even if you weren't paint for you and because you love it :D

Unknown said...

art is in the eye of the beholder I have found, two people can look at a painting and you get one loving it and one hating it,
this is awesome what you have done, and a great compliment to the photographer.
thanks for sharing,

Anonymous said...

I think you did remarkably well. It looks very close to the photo of the ruins. Things are not exact but it wouldn't be for most artists, and the purpose of art is not to be a photograph anyway. I always wanted things exact, photo perfect and another Artist said to me, "if you want a photo then take a photo, if you want art then let it be imperfect". I have kept that in mind over the years, that art is just the impression of what each individual artist sees and gave myself permission to be imperfect and stop kicking myself for the imperfections. Congratulations I am impressed.
Ever since you have been mentioning pastels I have worried that no one told you to wash your hands often, I have heard that pastels can be rather toxic and try not to breathe that pastel dust.

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I think you did a fantastic job! The photo is wonderful, no wonder you felt compelled to paint it. You've done a great job of capturing the light and feel of the area. Nice job!

ekwyne said...

nice work good texture variations

Kay Zahn said...

Maryann - Funny you mention the dust. I am aware and have an air filter running under my easel area and I have a hand vacuum that I use a lot. But I "blow" on the piece quite often and I see it fly . . and lately I've been complaining about my eyes feeling "sticky" and being allergic to a lot of things that I love (dogs, cats etc) I figure wouldn't you know, the pastel dust is probably one of them too. But I wasn't thinking of it being toxic (unless I breathe it of course) thanks for the info, I'll read up . . and I'll jump in the pool when I'm done !!!

Kay Zahn said...

thanks gals - the photographer and his wife are coming up to our cabin next week to shoot fall photos. We've had a place there for 17 years, and have never been able to get the great photos I want of some of our favorite places. So he and his wife and little dog ;) are coming up to trudge around behind me and my hubby to take photos in the white mtns. I've never met him so it should be great fun. I feel like I know him through his photos and FaceBook posts, but it will be real soon . . Then I will PAINT PAINT PAINT.

Pattie Butler said...

Ok, I'll finish what I wanted to say, the colors are great and you've captured the idea perfectly. I would really like to see you do another painting along the same lines of a once great city, that has been reduced to foreclosure & ruins. I've watched a few u-tube videos, also I've Googled photos of Detroit MI. It made me sad to see what the city has been reduced to. It was home to millions (myself being born and raised there) and now a little over 900 thousand live there. In one area alone 35 skyscrapers has been abandoned and vandalized, the streets are now bare. Thousands use to commute to or from work, only a dozen or so cars use the roads. I would really be interested in how you would paint it, how it is seen through your eyes. Pattie Butler

Kay Zahn said...

Pattie - What a poignant idea. You've got me thinking and that gets dangerous ;) I should have a Paint OFF contest with that concept. Given the idea you just stated, using the tools like Google and YouTube, find an angle a story, an image that one wants to convey about the situation that IS, WAS or what CAN BECOME of the Motor City. Stay tuned, that could be coming soon.

David Larson Evans said...

You did a really good job on this,I like how it really seems tucked under the cliff and after a closer look I may have have been here.

Kay Zahn said...

I'm not sure I mentioned where this is, but it is Mesa Verde Ruins in Colorado. My photographer friend took it.

David, thanks for the encouragement. As you can see on the progress photos, I had a time on perspective of that cave. But I'm happy with it.

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