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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Entry 3: Construction of "Amboy and Charles Street - we lived there till I was 9"

The last time I was at AS220, a multi media art space and live/work community in downtown Providence, I met two women who were working on an offset print project that involved creating a small book of family photographs. They let me look thru their stack and photocopy the ones I found interesting. The painting below is of one of the brother's proudly modeling his brandy new, 1970's era, patchwork pants.

Pic of full, finished painting taken in studio.
After laying down swipes of black I sketched in the figure and then added blue tape to set up a patchwork pattern.
The colors are sprayed in with various aerosals.

The tie and ray designs were sprayed in using a handcut stencil (it's based on a favorite tie my dad used to wear).

More aerosol
After adding aerosol oranges I started adding Gamblin Paint Co oils mixed with Neo Megilp to keep the paint a thin wash.

Originally, and based on the photo, he had his eyes open and a wide toothy smile - that was ahhhhhhllllllsorts of wrong. He looked like a late 1880's, racist's illustration of a black child. There was no way to convey hs excitement and joy clearly - the entire painting looked like it was a racist comment and devoted to challenging the viewer. Once I closed his eyes and toned down his teeth, he became a boy happy excited to show off his new pants. There are no photos of the original and ill conceived face - I was too busy trying to figure out how to stick to the reference photo and then got busy trying to make his face right to take any photos....wish I had regardless.    
The end face is absolutely perfect to me - just what I was hoping for. Crinkled nose, eyes shut tight, laughing. Easy breezy, colorful and fun. Not a social commentary just a painting of  a happy tween.
The shine in his pants comes from layering oils over aerosol. The aerosol is a tad thicker than usual and bc of the temp in my studio the oils dried oddly but the two mediums and odd drying produced the perfect effect for his pants.
Oranges, oranges leaves and letting hopefully convey the feeling his (made up) wallpaper may have had.

Pic of full painting taken in studio.

The photo of the two girls on the right is for another project but their faces helped me to reconstruct "Amboy and Charles" and bring him back to being a happy, happy kid.

Video slideshow of the construction and development of "Amboy and Charles Street" from beginning to end:

"Amboy and Charles" - oil on acrylic and aerosol on 36" x 48" canvas. Exclusively available thru:
Eden Fine Art
560 Madison Ave., New York 

Call :(212) 888-0177 for details.

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