“Grace on Broadway”, oil on board

Grace on Broadway, oil on Gessobord, 30x40 in.

This is just about done minus a few details that won’t show up digitally anyhow.  It is based on a study I did a few weeks ago of figures walking in front of Grace Church @ 10th & Broadway. The division of space created by the architecture in this is what interested me to begin with, the figures are there to balance the geometry with more organic forms. I took liberties with lots of things, the figures included, hoping to abstract them as much as possible without losing their recognizablity as humans, I also used fashion proportions, particularly on the lady in front and her dog (yes, the dog is taller than most dogs, too). While I toyed with the idea of making her more average (dog too), I have a habit of making figures tall, I think it because I teach fashion illustration and have a liking for tall, sketchy figures. I could have easily reduced her height, but decided to go with the 8.5 head-high vs. 8 head-high version, there are enough massive verticals in this that she “fits” better this way I think.

Another thing to note, there is a lot going on in this image! I love the idea of connecting points rather than singular focal points. It’s as if this painting could be several paintings if you cut it up geometrically–that appeals to me. Of course, some will feel it is too busy, or that there is competition between the elements for attention, too much so to tell a proper story. But that is what appeals to me, I prefer to have multiple connecting points that join visually, creating a more abstract, contemporary look and feel instead of a traditional, signularly-focused narrative composition. I like the tension created by the competing elements, and the verticality that seems to make this piece look bigger than it actually is. It seems to go on forever upward (well maybe that’s just because I have to scroll so much to see it on this little screen! :D)

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