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Saturday, June 25, 2011

LA Painting/Grafitti Art: June 26, 2011

After slipping unscathed through Skidrow's Tent City and the thousand or so homeless living on the sidewalks; we paid a late night visit to the Art District. The gutters were surreally clean; devoid of refuse.

This area is prime for urban nocturne painting with 20th Century Art Deco Buildings, and bridges, spanning the L.A. River, 19th century brownstone warehouses lit with minimal light, and facades constructed out of stacks of shipping palates.

We came across this mural painted by famed photographic muralist "JR",( a Parisian who doesn't quite know what his initials stand for).

In researching this Mural, it was one of three he painted as part of the Los Angeles Freewalls project. I was surprised to see that another soul had come along and defaced the face. They re-configured JR's mural, giving it a more clown, less frown-like expression.

The "Tagger" in question has turned a phot0-realistic portrait of a character, into a his own graphic arts project. The Mural now looks like something out of the Beatles movie, "Yellow Submarine", or an elucidation (hallucination), from a 1960's Peter Max Bed Spread I had as a child. These murals added spice to an urban jungle that's wild.

Either way, this mural is now more foreboding; yet is still strangely attractive to ponder upon. The cubist-like face stares at you as you await the signal's change from red to green.

It is not the oddest thing I've ever seen...

L.A. Painting, Nocturnes. Unfinished Business June 25, 2011

This as far as I progressed on the painting when the Security Guard kicked us off the Top Floor of the Security Building.

I am blogging this "rough draft", because it shows my process; as far as laying in the masses in a relatively middle value range, anticipating the eventual addition of the highlights and darker patterns which will not only provide the structure and rhythm but also the contrast for the glow, aka, "Chiaroscuro."

In a few weeks, we will come back down and sneak up on the roof so I can finish. It's a bit frustrating when a painting partner knocks off a brilliant sketch or two, in the time it took me to get this far...

I have to be patient and trust the painting will develop over time.

I have a long way to go on this 24x20 oil painting, and until then, It will move in to the "unfinished business" category.

Friday, June 24, 2011

LA Painting: Spring Street Vista July 24, 2011

Spring Street and 6th, in the City of Angels.

This is an Angelic view that would arouse the envy of Colin Campbell Cooper were he to see it, or the "Rear Window" voyeurism of Alfred Hitchcock .

Erdy Erdursun's art Studio/Apt. looks out over the hustle and bustle of downtown Los Angeles. This street typifies the quintessential urban landscape; utilized by Hollywood in the early morning hours for the filming of commercials, T.V. shows, and/or movies, such as Michael Mann's 2004 release, "Collateral ", starring Jamie Lee Foxx and Tom Cruise.

L.A. is like one big potential Hollywood Set.

Too much light here for me though, I prefer the more dimmly lit neighborhoods further East of this location, in L.A.'s Historic Art's District. So it's off to there we go.

Spring Street
Photo: T. Van Stein

Thursday, June 23, 2011

L.A. Painting: Once More Into the Breech June 23, 2011

Back down to Gritty L.A. with CBurt and Erdy.

On top of the "Security Building" off Spring Street we began our paintings. By 10:30, the Building Security, of the Security Building, became insecure about our security.

They moved us on, temporarily, to a darker, seedier neighborhood.

Laying out for the masses.
Photos. T. Van Stein

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

L.A. Painting: Moon Over Skidrow June 21, 2011

Gritty Los Angeles.

Got to have your head on a swivel when walking these streets.

Moon Over Skidrow

24x20 oil/canvas 2011
Collection of the Artist

Monday, June 20, 2011

L.A. Painting: Night Fall, Los Angeles June 20, 2011

The Moon is up on high.

Dawning our headlamps and book lights, C. Burt, Erdy, and I begin to paint: clueless of what lurks below us. These are considered some of the most dangerous landscapes, in Southern California. It is an Urban Jungle.

(See the 1991 movie by Lawrence Kasdan, "Grand Canyon." with Steve Martin, Kevin Klein and Danny Glover).

The sounds of the city clutter the air, sparking my imagination. I wonder what's going on down there behind that window, in that alleyway, behind that door? What was that sound? Was that a gun shot? Sheeit!!! Then the police, firetrucks, and ambulances rush by. We can see them from our perch.

For me, painting this motif reminds me of the Ashcan school Artist's such as John Sloan, and George Wesley Bellows. The urban nocturnes they painted looked sooty, and gritty due to the immense amount of air pollution emitted into the air from unabated burning coal fires of that day.

Sloan and Bellows painted at the height of the Industrial Revolution; when Americans built great things with aesthetics in mind, such as sky-scrapers with beautiful cornices, (Like the one we were standing on for this night's painting). Their paintings often depicted the True Grit of American Culture; when men were men. Michael Savage

Gone are those days when the chrome was hard and women were straight. (Thank you Michael Savage). Looking out at night over Skidrow and South Central L.A. one can still envision the haze, and mystery lurks in every shadow.

L.A. Night Haze. Photo: T. Van Stein

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day June 19, 2011

Who can say exactly what makes a good father great?
Sure, he takes care of his family and works hard to give them what they need...
But his greatness lies in the way he embodies what he teaches.
he doesn't have to preach-
he is what he believes,
he lives for what he loves,
and he doesn't see anything extraordinary
in the sterling example he sets.

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

With love.

Lt. jg James H. Stein
U.S. Merchant Marines 1944