Sunday, September 11, 2011

Highland Avenue

Yesterday, in honor of the Ninth Annual Worldwide Paint Out, I stopped to paint a snapshot of Kingston, New York.


I was struck by two old houses, both of the same design. One was covered over with white asphalt shingles and the other still kept its wood details, though the paint was peeling.

The houses stood side by side on Highland Avenue, one of the steepest streets in Kingston. A guy walking his Boston terrier stopped to tell us what it is like to live here.

“In the winter, when this street is covered with ice,” he said, “it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to go up or down. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big four wheel drive SUV. Either way you end up at the bottom. There’s nothing you can do.”

He pointed to a spot in the weeds at my feet, where his dog was snuffling, tugging at her leash. “My truck ended up right there one time,” he said. “It slid all the way down out of control.”

9 comments:

Pancho said...

in fact a beatifull house.
but have a winter problem XD.

LandPainter said...

Beautiful painting, James!

James said...

Great painting, and very nice story telling too. Puts you right there :D

Cindy Skillman said...

What a great picture! I love the old houses. You seem to find something worthy of recording no matter where you go -- I truly admire and want to emulate that. Thanks for the inspiration.

Erik Bongers said...

Stronger contrast and saturation that most of your outdoor paintings.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Folks.
Erik, yes, I often feel more willing to punch the value and chroma when I'm working in a limited palette, in this case raw sienna and ultramarine blue (with just a little red accent).

Also it was a deep blue sky and bright sun, so the lighting ratio was very high.

This was done with watercolor and colored pencils.

aquafortis said...

Great painting! I love that slant.

Wish I'd known about the Paint Out--there was even an event relatively close to me in Davis, CA. Maybe next year! I'm glad to have learned about it in any case.

Carol said...

It is the famous "maison bleue" of San Francisco. The one which became famous to all french people with a song "San Francisco" dating 1972 written by Maxime Le Forestier. It looks like a SF street.

Tom Hart said...

Another great "snappainting"!

James when you're doing a quick painting of architecture, how likely are you to carefully draw with respect to perspective (checking horizon line, etc.) as opposed to free-wheeling it? I get the impression that for your longer plein aire sessions that include buildings you do a quite detailed drawing of the architecture. Is that right, and if so, how much by contrast do you wing it on these quicker sketches?