AEDM day 28: cold nights in the city

Yesterday evening’s ‘Experimental Acrylic Techniques’ class was productive, if not quite in the intended way. The experimental material presented to us was white acrylic glaze, which we were to drizzle onto our paintings through a hole poked in the bottom of a plastic cup dangling from a string. The concept made me think of rain, so I set to work on two canvases, having no plan but vaguely intending to produce rainy day scenes. The drizzly glaze was more suited to abstract pictures, I would think, but I am practically incapable of producing abstract art.

At any rate, the resulting paintings came out better than I expected, and the teacher all but forbade me to use the drippy glaze on them. So I ended up with a couple plain old acrylic paintings.

The darkness of the paintings makes them particularly hard to photograph without glare, so I’m including two photos of each scene, taken in different lights. The first ones are more accurate. They are both acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 cm; I haven’t named them yet.

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11 Responses to “AEDM day 28: cold nights in the city”

  1. Steve Emery says:

    I like them both – they’re atmospheric and have that “alone” feeling that seems unique to walking in rain, when people don’t travel in pairs or groups much, and there is little or no talking on the street. I especially like the second one, with the umbrella tipped forward. Looking again at both of them, I also really like the way the window behind the figures frames them. The paintings work together especially well as a pair, I think – giving a sense of time – like the observer had been in a cafe across the street and seen the two different figures come past the store window on the other side. Another thing that makes me get the “alone” feeling – as the observer on a rainy day…

    Do you make these up out of your head in class? I like the way you summed up the two figures with just a few shapes – but both are in interesting poses – active and real.

  2. Helen says:

    I like that they’re not really clear. The feeling is one of obscurity and you know that people are walking along in the rain but there’s a sense of mystery in the shadows.

  3. Jul says:

    Steve – yep, these two just came out of my head in class. Thank you for your kind words!

    Helen – the woman who sits next to me in class came up to me and asked “Why always so dark???” She wasn’t into the mystery of the shadows. :)

  4. Carol Cooper says:

    What captured me was the invisible force of the wind in both paintings. The little girl’s hair blowing back and the person with the umbrella has it facing in front of her/him for protection. I love the mystery in both, what is she looking at and where is that person going and why? I agree with Steve above, GREAT pair!!

  5. Linda says:

    I loved the figure with the umbrella, felt the weather against her body, the stiffness of the wind and cold but I really liked the colors you chose….they are happy, the reds and blues opposing the theme…I was wondering what it was you were “feeling” about what you were painting…cold or happy? just pondering… :)

  6. have you ever looked at any of bonnard’s street scenes? also, take a look at some of his town views/landscapes…..
    if you need a laugh – – brillantly written, fanastically funny expat in france…

  7. Emma says:

    Can’t say that I like these paintings, Jul, sorry. :-(
    I am not a dark coloured person so dark paintings don’t appeal to me. I like the scene that you have painted but not the colours.
    Like the sound of drizzling stuff through a hole in a cup on the end of a string – might have to try that idea.

  8. Leah says:

    how lovely! i like the darkness of them. definitely reminds me of a rainy city evening.

  9. I have to agree with pretty much everything that Steve said. The mood in these paintings is really great. I get the feeling of a rainy night with the streetlights casting the red/green glow. The way the figures emerge out of the darkness is subtle and beautiful. Good work!

  10. Jul says:

    Carol – thanks so much. A friend pointed out something that I realized while painting but decided to ignore – the wind is going in different directions in the two paintings. That limits their application as a pair, somehow.

    Linda – good question… I think ‘both’ is the answer. The cold weather is really in full swing here this week, and I love it!

    Deborah – thanks for the suggestions! Checking out now…

    Emma – that’s OK. Dark is not for everyone… :)

    Leah – thanks! I am so amazed at your ability to make it around to all us AEDM bloggers!

    Wendy – thank you so much for your comments. I think your words actually made me like the paintings more.

  11. Dia says:

    Mmm, since I live in an area that gets lots of these drizzly grey days – I love the colour you bring to everything you do, & how you captured the feeling! The warmth of the colour makes them feel not so bleak – I enjoyed them both!

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