Contemporary Landscape Painting; Roads
This portfolio of contemporary landscape paintings of roads shows my range of painting styles . There are many fun techniques I like to use to create this diversity. One example is scraping away the paint to bring out the details. The truck is executed in this manor. I took the original photo that inspired this painting in Moab, Utah, traveling to Fisher Towers in the early morning. The truck approaching us that day was a Ford F-150, (see the photo below).
I wanted to create a nostalgic feeling in this peaceful landscape and the truck in this photo is too modern. When I was a kid, my dad bought an antique truck and it was a bit of a mess. I remember riding shotgun and watching the road through the big hole in the floor. That truck is just what this scene needed. Google images is an amazing tool, you can find practically anything on there and I found an image of my dad’s old truck.
Above is a detail of the old truck, wooden boards enclose the truck bed in the back but you really don’t see that much anymore. I scraped the paint off the panel to add the highlights and the chrome details.
Creating a Dynamic Composition
I took a series of photos on the rollercoaster ride through this mountain pass on my way to the airport one early morning. “Switchbacks” is made more dynamic by tilting the road. The viewer can feel the centrifugal force as one anticipates rounding the bend. The tilt of the signs and street lights emphasizes the tilt of the road.
Progressing a Series
I wanted to do a series around that ride, playing up the colors to make it a bit more abstract. The rough texture brings the plain of the mountain on the left closer and the abstract schmeer of the paint recesses the mountain on the right. Again, I tilted the road to make it more dynamic and added the truck to emphasize the tilt of the road. This creates distance by having something for the viewer to look past.
Many collectors have large art walls so I did this companion piece to hang with Sidewinder. The idea was to flip the colors, doing the blues in the mountains and the warmer colors for the sky, reflecting in the road. The photo was taken coming out from under an overpass and I loved the idea of pinching the picture plain with the dark purple at the top to create a dynamic composition with the triangle shape for the sky.
I am a huge fan of Wolf Kahn, may he rest in peace and Richard Mayhew, who is still painting at the age of 96. Their use of beautiful, bright colors is extraordinary and incredibly inspiring. While cleaning out my studio recently, I found my acid green oil crayon and decided to implement this colorful strategy to take my Road Series in a new direction. Using the warm colors as the highlights and the cool colors as the shadows, Kaleidoscope is the result.
Transparent Colors are particularly pleasing on a metal panel. The paint is a thin veil over the metal and makes the painting more luminous. Pulling the paint away to expose the metal base creates another dimension to the work. It becomes reflective of the light in the room and changes the appearance while the viewer moves around the piece, depending on where it is hanging and the light in the room. I will often do a vertical, square or horizontal format; above is the vertical, below the square.