What I'm looking for
I like to paint sunlit city life in Florida and Europe. When I'm roaming the streets taking photos for my work there are a handful of subjects that make me perk up and look for a shot. These items appear in my work with regularity because to me they have a sense of fun, joie de vivre, and vivid color. Here they are, in no particular order:
Below are details of paintings with examples of these favorites. Hover for information or click to enlarge.
People and dogs
People are in all my paintings because they add life to the scene and make me wonder; Where are they going next? What are they saying and feeling? What would it be like to be there? I want their presence to create an open-ended story.
And dogs! Dogs are the best. If I could find more dogs to paint they would be in every painting. They bring joy and energy, and they're patient with our human foibles. Yes, I am a dog person. Besides, you rarely see people walking their cat.
aFrench cafes and waiters
Why is it that the cafes in Paris are the perfect place to relax and let the world go by? For me they are the quintessential coffee break experience; ambiance, history, great coffee, and fun people watching. I especially like the traditional black and white uniform of the waiters; they are visually dramatic and add a touch of and formality to a daily pleasure.
Bicycles and Scooters
You might be surprised at how hard it is to get a photo of a bicyclist or scooterist (sp?) as they pass you in the street. As I walk along looking for photos, by the time I realize that I have a good subject, they have usually passed. Or a car has blocked my shot. Or the angle isn't right. So frustrating! But I like how they add a sense of motion and fun to my paintings, so I keep trying. I really want to rent a red scooter and tool around Paris or Rome. But the opportunity hasn't arisen. Yet.
Water, boats, and palm trees
Painting scenes of Florida cities means I've learned to paint these ubiquitous aspects of our urban landscape. I study the different varieties of palm trees, leaf shapes, and tree profiles. I also look carefully at the appearance of water in terms of colors and reflections which reveal the weather and wind conditions in my paintings. And boats always require careful observation in order to mimic the complex curves and unique styling of each craft.
I could go on...
There are actually many more items to add to the list. But these are the main ones. Your turn: What do you think I'm missing? What should I be adding to my cityscapes that would be fun to paint and to look at?