Thursday, September 7, 2017
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
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.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
#82 - 13th Ave. NE & NE 2nd St.
7"x5" oil on panel
With less than twenty alleys left, I plan to try and push myself more toward simplification, design, and abstraction. More and more, I'm drawn toward mystery - things left unsaid. This alley was a great opportunity for that, with the back lighting and the big shapes. I left out all the little details and just let the paint do the work.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
#81 - East 57th Street & Elliot Avenue South
8"x6" oil on panel
This alley was commissioned by the family member of a friend as a gift to his sister.
I was asked in late March or early April, but I wanted to wait a few weeks until the trees started greening up. I was really hoping for some sun, but those weeks were cold, grey, and rainy. There were *finally* a few sunny days in early May and after all that rain the trees were green enough that I was able to get what I had in mind.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
12"x16" oil on panel (sold)
This March and April seemed endlessly cold and grey. I've been looking forward to getting outside again. This one was from last fall while looking for interesting alleys. I started it then, but set it aside and finally finished it last month. Sometimes I run into complications that take time to resolve. Sometimes they never do. I'm glad this one did.
Apologies for the glare. I didn't notice until I went through the photos. This painting is currently hanging at Butter Bakery Cafe for the months of May & June. If I get a chance, I'll take a new photo of it later.
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
#79 - Minnehaha & East 34th St.
6x8-oil on panel
This was from the snow fall we had here in Minneapolis a few weeks back.
It's looking like that will have been the last snow of the 2016/17 winter.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
#78 - 47th St. between 1st. Ave. & Nicollet Ave. S.
6" x 12" oil on canvas.
This one was sort of spontaneous - I happened to have some paint left on the
palette, and a little time, so I painted this small one recently.
I've been trying to focus on design, shapes, color, etc. and this was a good exercize towards that.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
#77 - East Lake St. & 30th Ave. S.
8"x10" oil on panel
A warm late afternoon/early evening in Southeast Minneapolis.
We are in the middle of a winter deep freeze as I post this.
Needless to say, I'm looking forward to warmer days.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
#76 - E. 42nd St. & 38th Ave. S. 8"x10" oil on panel
We did have a nice extended fall season here ....when it was dry.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
South Thomas Ave. & West Franklin Ave. - 8x10 oil on panel.
I've made it three quarters of the way! I even had time to get a few ahead last month.
This one is in the Kenwood neighborhood (if I'm wrong, please let me know).
I was out with my friend Mister FatCat again last month, looking for an interesting alley in the area.
We set out that morning with a specific site in mind, but when we returned to it that morning it was really
a driveway to parking for some apartments. So, we went looking for another and found a couple interesting
spots. One was good enough that we started to set up....and then I called it off. Sometimes you get a feeling that it's not going to work out. Thankfully I got that feeling before we started and not two hours into it.
I was being picky, but wanted to take one last try at finding something interesting before it got too late (we had already spent a couple hours out looking) and had to resign ourselves to plan b. Around the corner and two blocks down we found this one.
It was nice to stumble into this - the sign said dead end alley, it's unpaved, and the light/shadows were good. We set up and went at it! Mostly painted on site, but I made a few adjustments to the next day at home.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
This one is in the Lowery Hill neighborhood. It was a great afternoon to be out painting. I was with my friend Jeff (Mister FatCat) a couple weeks ago and we found an old brick paved alley. I don't recall seeing many, if any, others like this. I know they're out there, but they're pretty rare. I think most were dug up or paved over a long time ago.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Ink on paper - digital color.
I spent a good portion of the summer occupied with illustration work much like this....drawn and inked on paper (heavy 100% cotton, this one) and then scanned and colored in Photoshop. It was a natural to just fit this in with what I was doing. This one was a request from a friend for a neighborhood event this month and since I've been behind again on posting (and making) new alley pictures - I jumped at an excuse too make a new one! This might even look good as a print....maybe silk screen....hmmmmm....
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
4"x4" oil on panel (sold)
A small one from the Stevens Square neighborhood again.
The shadows were big and deep here on this particular afternoon.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
#71 - E. 18th St & 2nd Ave. S
20" x 16" oil on canvas
This is in the Stevens Square neighborhood.
There are quite a few good alleys here and I'd like to get back to do more in this area.
If anyone is still following along - thanks! I am trying to get these done at a faster pace. There's always something getting ahead of them. I hope this summer allows more opportunities to search out new alleys.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
#70 - 44th and Grand Ave. South
8x10, oil on panel. (sold)
Friends Chris and Jen own the place at the front right end of this alley. There was a baby shower there for our daughters when we were expecting. We spent a lot of fun evenings in the back yard to the right of that garage...bbqs, playing music, etc.