Monday, October 4, 2010

Low Growling Murmur

*with compositional overlay

"Harbor Line #72 (47 Bridge)"
oil on panel, 2010
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

In a low growling murmur, the #72 slowly crawls through the harbor on an almost imperceptible uphill grade, pulling a string of rail cars loaded with cargo containers, the 47 bridge as it's backdrop. Late in the afternoon, the sun from the left puts the sides in shadow... jet black. One of those days where the atmosphere is heavy and hazy but bright.

This location is wide open, a staging area for huge piles of dirt, asphalt and concrete used throughout the harbor for all the various construction and renovation projects.

The slight upward tilt as well as the heavy section of bridge bearing down convey the weight of the long train being pulled, even if unseen. Well fit to this task, the sturdy black locomotive dominates the horizontal composition.

Anatomy of a painting... structurally the image is made up of horizontal bands (rectangles), triangles and the forward leaning angles of the stripes. All serve the subject. As indicated in the *overlay above, the triangles point in the direction of the action, moving the train forward and through the composition from left to right. The stripes too seem to push the train forward, a thought the designers must have had in mind.

The horizontal bands of the foreground left simple but punctuated with tufts of grass and dashes of paint to set up implied lines also moving left to right. The blunt shape of the locomotive echoed by the same shapes of the trucks, it's smaller commerce cousins, in the background approaching the bridge.75
Click on images for larger view

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