Tuesday, June 1, 2010


"Refinery, Power Poles, Saw Horse"    SOLD
watercolor on paper, 2009
9" x 12" (22.86cm x 30.48cm)

This, in keeping with the last two posts, is to show some of my watercolors, another medium other than oil.

What drew me to this view was how it exemplified the utilitarian nature of the industrial subject. Nothing is there without serving or having served some purpose. Even in other images that may show the discarded, the forgotten, the untended, most everything in industry was created to execute a specific task or duty. No matter how mundane.

And while that may also be said about city, urban and nature subjects, these three more often are a blend of utility and aesthetics.

It is worth pointing out that there is plenty in industry that does have aesthetic concerns... automotive design, environmental design, architecture etc., but this painting is an example of function without aesthetics playing a direct role.

So aesthetics, if any, lies with how it is presented by the artist. A reflection of what the artist sees. Like so many still life artists that celebrate the common and the mundane, I felt this view was worthy of a look.

Not a glorious subject, not even a beautiful subject, but I am always struck by the similarities between refineries and cathedrals, their stacks and spires respectively, anchored in the heavy mass of their bases, piercing the skyline. Their ornate detail breaking up and sub-dividing their mass. That, for me, is compelling enough to show on it's own. That is what I see. Why not look at a subject out of context?

But as I said, I'm not looking to glorify the refinery here, so including the saw horse, power poles, and signs serve both as compositional devices to break up and fragment the picture plane and as reminders of their unsung status.40
Click on image to enlarge

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