Thursday, January 08, 2009

Working From Photographs

Big D on Green

$250 unframed

22" x 30"
Most people who see this acrylic painting think it's a non-representational or abstract design, simply a big letter D and perhaps they wonder why I painted it. The simple answer is that I wanted to, but that sounds a bit snippy so I go on to tell them the story.

On May 20, 2000 (I know because the date is on the photo) my brother and I were driving down a street in his Arkansas town when I spotted a rather rundown corrugated tin building painted the most wonderful green. My brother is the best person in the world to go for a drive with because he'll cheerfull stop for anything, any where, or even turn around and go back when we're miles down the road. So we came to a screeching halt, backed up and I jumped out to take some photos. I'm sure he was wondering why I would want to make a picture of that ugly building. And the simple answer was that I saw beauty there and wanted to keep it because my memory fails regularly. I wasn't sketching much at the time but I've always kept my eyes open so I collected the image, and that's the image that led directly to this painting. Here's what I saw.

Photograph of the building

Detail Photograph

This is one of the most realistic paintings I've ever done, and it was lots of fun to mix the colors and figure out how best to represent the texture. I used a piece of corrugated cardboard as my brush to indicated the lines of the tin building material and collaged 2 pieces of cardboard to the watercolor paper to indicated the patches in the metal siding.


  1. Your painting is exceptional Jo. I like it better than the photograph!!

  2. Thanks Seth! I love its in-person texture, both visual and tactile.


I appreciate comments and questions.

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