Friday, October 7, 2011

"Spokane. Early March"

oil on canvas, 36x36"

Finished this one a couple of months ago and forgot to post it.

I've been searching for a view like this one for over a year. Circled around the downtown, climbed on the top floors of parking structures, tried to get to any publicly accessible high place, and it was not it, and it was not it... Then, last March, I happened to be at an office on the sixteenth floor of the Seafirst building, the building that I hate with a passion.  It dominates the Spokane skyline, it feels absolutely out of place, and  almost everywhere you look in the downtown, you can see it - a giant striped mattress that tries to reach the sky. (Reminds me of this anecdote about Guy do Maupassant, who despised the Eiffel Tower so  much that he ate at the tower's restaurant every day because it was the only place where he could not see the tower.)

And there it was, on the sixteenth floor of this monster - the view of the city, just like what I had in my mind. The weather was perfect, too - overcast, gloomy, heavy sky, wet streets, snow on the roofs.  

It was a very brief visit, I could not do any sketches, did not have my camera with me either. So I snapped a quick shot with my cell phone. Unfortunately, the image got corrupted, my laptop refused to recognize it, and I only could view it on the phone screen, a small thumbnail, about an inch by inch and a half. 

Yet, I learned that a very bad photo makes a great reference for a painting. It provides some information, but not too much, and most important - it does not dictate how to paint, like beautiful photos sometimes do. Of course, painting a late winter scene in July was a fun challenge, too.

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