Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paint a Cell Tower Challenge Results

Thanks to everyone for entering the "Paint a Cell Tower Challenge." We had entries from all around the world, and many of you overcame difficult challenges ranging from cold air, to suspicious police, to annoying guys on tractors, to weird dudes riding up on small bicycles.

I was impressed with the range of styles of cell towers, and how you incorporated them into the landscape or cityscape. Some seemed to belong in the setting and even look attractive; others made a point of emphasizing the alien quality of the structures in their surroundings. 

It was hard to choose just five winners, so I picked seven. Here they are:


Kevin Jones 
"Acrylic in watercolour sketchbook. I couldn’t resist painting these masts up on Mendip in the UK. I was staying near an artist friend so we went out painting. About 2hrs. Vin Jelly Fine Art."


Sandy Derrick
"Painted at the railroad tracks in Pearland, TX (518 and Hwy 35). It depicts three cell phone towers because this is TX. Painted in acrylics, started on location, but finished at home."
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AljoĊĦa Vidmar 
"Water mixable oil on canvas panel, 19 x 29 cm. Location: Slovenia, Upper Carniola region. 
This was quite an adventure. I was painting a few meters away from a railroad and every 10-15 min. a train would pass by. At first the noise and the gust of wind that followed a train passing by was a bit overwhelming, but when I got used to it I began to enjoy it. Later a local "hillbilly" got drunk and decided it would be fun to drive his tractor up and down the dirt road where I was painting, so I had to move my painting gear a few times."
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Wendy Line
Australia. "This communication tower and aerials sit atop an 11-storey port building that overlooks the city and harbour. I began by drawing the scene in graphite pencil, washed in watercolours then added gouache. After two hours much of the painting was done but the light had changed. So I returned the following day to complete the painting and add in all the details. Thanks James for hosting this challenge, which encouraged me to sketch something a little different."
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Neve Ellis, Gouache
"Sutton British Telecom radio mast, UK. This tower is a standout part of the landscape when you're driving around Wincle. Think the hardest part was actually getting there - lots of winding satnav-confusing country roads. Great phone reception when you get up there though.
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Karl Fuchs, 16" x 20" watersoluble oil paints 
"This celltower in Bavaria is a huge thing, on the picture you see only half of it. I actually wanted to paint the evening light shining on these farm buildings and autumn trees for quite some time, of course without the ugly tower... But this challenge changed the game."


Karl continues: "I needed two sessions for it because the sun went down way faster than I expected. I chose to paint the scene in warm evening colors and with loose and playful brushwork to show that no matter how idyllic the scene is, this thing up there on the hill will always feel wrong and out of place. The tower gives me a dystopic feeling, it could be an alien spaceship disguised as a human building...Probably the farmers living there have already mutated into slimey, mind-reading creatures."
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Philippe D'Amours, gouache

"Here is my antenna. I started to paint it on the spot but I finished it at the studio because here in Quebec City, in November it is very cold already and my hands and my gouache did not want to stay outside anymore. Thanks to James for this challenge. I am not a person who loves the city so much but I love to paint it. The lines that are created by architecture inspires me a lot."
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Each finalist receives a "Department of Art" patch and a free tutorial download. Please email me with your mailing address, and I'll get those to you.

Now that we've seen all these artistic interpretations of cell towers, I wonder if more of us will allow them into our field of vision. I remember reading that the Eiffel Tower was first regarded as as an ugly monstrosity, a “metal asparagus” by the artists of Paris, but now most people regard it as a beloved icon. Perhaps something has changed in us.
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Check out the rest of the entries at this Facebook link: Paint a Cell Tower Challenge

5 comments:

bernicky said...

Excellent choices all. I don't know how I missed Sandy's painting on the Facebook page, will have to revisit. Congratulations to all the finalists.

Steve said...

Love the diversity of images and media. Congratulations to all!

Rich said...

All those great Cell Tower results!

I'd slightly prefer the Kevin Jones one.
Because he also added these contrails in the blue sky:
Somehow symbolically depicting the invisible cell-tower-contrails.

scottT said...

What a talented bunch. Wendy...wow! For an Aussie your painting really has a '30s American vibe. I love it. And Phillipe has really learned his "color and light" lessons. Captured the time and atmosphere through harmony beautifully.

Jim Serrett said...

Thank you, James Gurney, for another fun challenge. Congratulations to all.