Monday, February 22, 2010
Power Plant Nocturne Feb 22, 2010
Well, when painting at night, alone, in a remote area, near Oxnard California, its best to at least look intimidating!
In 2005 I was preparing for my first solo Museum exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, when I would drive my van out to this location to complete my painting, "Power Plant Nocturne". It was one of the largest paintings I'd painted on location up to that time.
Even though this area had lots of graffiti on the near by Electrical Power sub station, fortunately I was never visited by bandits with their bandelaros. The police came by once, and I asked them to come by more frequently. They informed me of a murder that had taken place in this area, of a couple of people who thought they'd found a secluded spot; (unfortunately for them it wasn't as secluded as they'd thought). This served to add to the edge to the night.
In studying this picture it is interesting to note my set up: my studio easel, my French Field Easel holding my palette, and my bucket for my paints and brushes, and of course, my Russian Infantryman's hat with my maglight attached. Also note my umbrella attached to my van. It blocked the ambient sodium vapor light flooding onto the canvas.
A year earlier I was attending the Pt. Magu Air Show with my kids, where two Navy men, flying for the crowds, were forced to bail out of their F-4 Phantom right after it's engines had flared out. Fortunately the two men parachuted out of the plane safely, (the jet crashed and created a huge fireball) Unfortunately the two men landed right into the middle of the fire. This happened right where the trees are; on the horizon to the left of where I am standing (near the two High Tension Power Poles).
Painting Urban Nocturnes is sometimes like painting crime scenes. I am a silent witness to the night and all it's offerings and my paintings are merely reports back from the front of darkness.
One never knows what the night will reveal.