Tag Archives: Chestnut Hill

Scratch Art 7

More scratch art work inspired by a class I took at Woodmere Art Museum in spring 2021. Look here for the first post, which explains the origins of this inspiration and some general background on the medium.

This photo is of the view through a store window in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA

And below is the image. I selected what looked to me to be the dominating lines and shapes that made of the picture, and carefully though out how I would portray them. When I began the drawing process (and as always, I do no preliminary drawings on paper, I just start in on the board), I worked more slowly and with thought.

There are some areas I wish I could have done a bit better, but overall, I like how this one turned out. I feel the black/white balance is good, the composition has a flow to it that the black and white areas carry out well, and there are those mysterious feet…so the picture has a little intrigue to it.

Of course you know from the source image they are the feet of the mannequin, but in the art piece, well, you just don’t know, do you? I like that.

This finishes my first series of scratch art pictures. I have ordered more boards and will be doing this again. Soon.

People Walking

These paintings from June, 2017, are done in acrylics, 10″ x 8″.

“Pedestrian” was started during the plein air event I did in Chestnut Hill in June. I couldn’t finish it there so I took it home and ended up with a scene somewhat like the original. I added a person walking along the sidewalk – the painting looked a little lonely without some sign of life.

The second painting came from my head, no reference to the real world. I added a person to it, too, for the same reason as “Pedestrian”.

Plein Air Paintings

I’m not sure if I ever posted these paintings done at the plein air event I attended in early June, 2017. If I did do it, well, here they are again.


Plein Air Update – See the Final Results

Now that I’m back from my Poetry Marathon of last week, I want to catch up on another event before it gets too far into the past. You may remember that I participated in a plein air event in Chestnut Hill on June 12 – here are the versions I ended the day with. Two smaller pieces and one larger one.

Now, I’ll show you each painting, its progression at the event, and where it finished up after some work on it at home. First up, Avenue.

Next, Surly Street.

Finally, Best Time.

More Remodelings

Do you remember this painting? I did it in the plein air event on June 14, 2015, in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.

Plein air version.

Plein air version.

But, I took the painting home and I couldn’t get happy with the result. I had felt somewhat constricted by the “necessity” of painting what I saw. If nothing else, I finally realized that for me, plein air means looking at what I see in front of me and letting it take me along, not necessarily painting exactly what I am viewing. Valuable lesson.

Anyway, I took the painting home and got to work. Over the next couple of days here is what emerged. I was a lot happier with this version.

“It Will Take All Day To Get There”

Now the painting is gone – sold at the show I went to this past weekend. So I’m glad I kept going with it.

Plein Air

I spent last Sunday in Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia neighborhood near my house, participating in a plein air event. Now, the timing of this event was not the greatest for me, being as it was a few days before my second cataract surgery. My eyesight was quite confused – when you see 20/20 in one eye and 20/800 in the other, and your close-up vision is also a bit shaky, well, maybe painting is not what you ought to be doing.

But, I went ahead anyway. I want to try this type of event whenever I can. I haven’t been able to do much plein air as I had wanted to so far this summer, once again due to my sight.

Forty artists or so were participating. We were assigned a block along the main street in this section of town, Germantown Avenue. I was in the 8300 block on the east side. I chose a view looking south – an intersection a little bit down the hill. I set up my table and got to work. Once I had the painting pretty well set up, I moved into the shade (it was a very hot day and as the sun moved, I did too).

I enjoyed the experience. I think I’m gradually getting an idea of how plein air and I can work together. I did feel restricted by adhering to the elements of the scene and not adding or amending as I would if I were just painting along free to go anyway I wanted. What this told me is that for me, plein air makes a great starting point, and then I want to embellish. Good. I learned something valuable.

So here are some stages of my painting. I plan to do some changes to it back here at home as soon as my eyes heal a bit more (I had the second surgery yesterday and so far, things have gone well with both eyes). I want to simplify some sections and make some additions to turn it into a landscape that’s partly real and partly straight from my own head. I’ll have to see where it goes.

And here are some photos from the reception – they displayed all the paintings done that day.