Thursday, June 6, 2019

#97 - S. 10th St. & Park Ave. Fr. Rd.

#97 - S. 10th St. & Park Ave. Fr. Rd.
18x36 oil on canvas
This is an alley that I've had on the list for a while, but I waited until all the construction in the background was finished. The buildings in the background have all changed in the past couple years and for a while the sky was filled with construction cranes.
I'm glad I waited.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

#96 - 38th & Chicago Ave. S.

#96 - 38th & Chicago Ave. S. 24"x36" oil on canvas
I cut loose with the thick and juicy paint this time.

We had quite a winter here in the Twin Cities.
This alley seemed like a good representative.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

#95 - 3rd & Marquette

#95 - 3rd & Marquette
24x30 oil on canvas
A new alley!!

I love how the buildings downtown can sometimes overlap, cross, or intersect and what seem like unnatural angles. As I have been doing recently, I was shooting for simplicity with this. I blocked most of the buildings in with a brayer, a 3" drywall knife, and an 8" squeegee. To finish, I stuck with the largest brushes I could use (a number 4 flat was the smallest). I pushed all the color saturation of the grays and browns toward blue and orange. It was nice to do another alley.
Sorry these are so few and far between. On the plus side there have been new opportunities that have been exciting.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

#94 - East 31st Street Near Portland Avenue South

#94 - East 31st Street Near Portland Avenue South
20"x24" oil on canvas
It was nice to get back to these. I didn't force myself to try anything unusual, or add any restrictions, so it was enjoyable to just art for the enjoyment. And yep, that's a dinosaur head on the back of that truck. I drove past this in the early fall and had to make a run around the block so I could snap some pictures. The garage and truck are equally interesting. I have a feeling some creative types live there.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

#93 - E. 19th St. Near Stevens Ave.

#93 - E. 19th St. Near Stevens Ave.
24x24 Oil On Canvas

Here we are at number 93. This is another one from the Stevens Square neighborhood.
There are so many good ones over there!
Again, I'm pushing color and contrast while simplifying shapes.
I was very tempted to go full abstract with this. I did a few color thumbnails to make
some color choices and really liked them, but decided to try and find a middle ground.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

#92 - 57th St. E. & 40th Ave. S.

#92 - 57th St. E. & 40th Ave. S.
11x14 oil on panel

One from the far Southeast corner of Minneapolis.
This alley had a nice shady, cool feeling and I used
an all cool, limited color palette to push that even more.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

#91 - 32nd Between Girard and Fremont Ave. S.

#91 - 32nd Between Girard and Fremont Ave. S.
12"x9" oil on panel
So, I'm into the last ten of the one hundred. I had all sorts of ideas about
what I was going to do. The best laid plans and etc., etc.....
At this point I'm still experimenting on these. For instance, this one had a couple things
going on. I used a color palette that I would never normally use, just to see how I
could make it work for me. I used Alizarin permanent, Cad. Lemon, Viridian, and white.
I added Cobalt blue and Raw Sienna to keep the others in check. It might have been interesting
to run those heavy colors full tilt, but maybe another time.
I'm also still working on simplifying shapes, pushing contrasts, adding in things like soft graphite, and using odd housepaint brushes, scrapers, knives, squeegees, and ink brayers while building it up. I'm already looking ahead at what I can use to tackle the next one.
But at number 91, I'm still having fun with 'em.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

#90 - 1st Near 4th St. N.

1st Near 4th St. N.
6"x6" oil on panel
This small one is from a photo my friend Mike sent me a while back.
Up to this point I haven't used any photos that I didn't take, but this one
stuck with me. I kept it as a reminder to check this location because
I liked the look of it. It has an eerie, lonely quality. I had some time one
afternoon between things recently and just went ahead and painted this one
from the photo I had.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

#89 - NE 15th Ave & Washington St NE

#89 - NE 15th Ave. & Washington St. NE
18x24 oil on canvas
I haven't done one of these at this size in a while. I spent a little extra time
experimenting with it, trying a few things that I've picked up along
way doing smaller alla prima and plein air work.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

#88 - East 36th St. & Snelling Ave.

#88 - East 36th St. & Snelling Ave. S.
3x5 AcrylaGoauche on paper

I wasn't going to post this one because it seemed too loose and sketchy, but then that's what changed my mind. I found an old pocket Moleskine sketchbook full of alley sketches and paintings on a shelf and it had a page prepped for another small alley, so I did one. After a few years away from doing them that way, I realized my approach to these has changed a lot. And I'm happy that it has.
So, here's a recent little winter scene from Southeast Minneapolis.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

#87 - N. 2nd St. & 22nd Ave. N.

#87 - N. 2nd St. & 22nd Ave. N.
8x10 oil on panel
Happy New Year.
It's been a while! Apologies to anyone following along.
I haven't given up - just had a very, very busy couple months.
The holidays and a pile of work kept me away from alleys for
Nov. & Dec. I had plans to finish the 100 up last year. Really, I did.
All the best laid plans...etc.
It's nice to get back to these.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

#86 - North 16th Avenue & Irving Avenue North

100 Alleys #86 - North 16th Avenue & Irving Avenue North
12x9 acrylic and pencil on Strathmore Mixed Media paper

I've been revisiting limited color schemes again. I really like
the mood it gives depending on the group of colors.
And it's a reminder not to get too stuck in any one way of doing things.

Strathmore Mixed Media paper.....
I don't usually mention specific supplies, because who really cares...
but man I like that stuff!
This one does what I need, when I need to do it on paper.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

#85 - North 10th Ave. Between 3rd & 4th St. North

#85 - North 10th Ave. Between 3rd & 4th St. North
9x12  oil on board

This was an experiment.  The goal was to do the drawing at the location and paint it back here from memory as much as possible. With the exception of a couple adjustments later, I was able to do what I set out to. It gave me a lot to think about with regards to what's essential and what I can do with it.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

#84 - Marquette Between 9th & 10th Streets

#84 - Marquette Between 9th & 10th Streets - 8x6 oil on panel
One Friday at the beginning of August I decided to walk from my house to downtown Minneapolis and paint an alley picture, so I packed up a small kit and set out late morning. The Uptown art fair was starting that day and I sidetracked there to visit a few friends. I made it downtown by early afternoon and searched out some alleys that I had in mind. After looking at a few, this one seemed the right choice for the day. If you live in the cities, you may be familiar with the larger view. The reverse view is a parking lot and if you were to back up, the building on the right is the old Schmitt Music with the music note mural. The alley itself is pretty small. There's only enough room for one service vehicle at a time. People taking breaks were standing in doorways and up against small support walls that jut out. I used the large pipes running along the right side to lean on. They're about elbow height for me and extend to just inside the end of the alley. I did a couple thumbnails to start, then set up my small panel and modified cigar box on the pipes. I was able to get the scene drawn in and the shadows established. After a couple vehicles came through for extended periods and I was jostled enough by people trying to get around me, I decided I had enough info to take it back and finish that evening. I did enjoy the day though and it was a great hike around the city. I'm tempted to go back and do a longer view of this one, catching some of the buildings and parking lot outside this alley.
So many good alleys....

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

#83 - 12th Ave. S. & Powderhorn Terrace

#83 - 12th Ave. S. & Powderhorn Terrace
14x11 oil on panel
The shadows here were amazing. There a few short streets at the North end (I think) of Powderhorn Park that I hadn't seen before. I was over there taking a look at the park with the idea of coming back to paint the Midtown Market building tower that rises above the trees in the park. The lighted sign looks pretty great at twilight. But....I often get distracted by the alleys in any neighborhood that I'm in and then this happens.