Okay, since we’re on the topic, here’s another tornado painting. This one is certainly one of my more ambitious pieces and I’m working on one right now that is quite analogous. This one though is four feet tall and I must have started and finished 8 or 9 other works in the time this one took. In person it is a very tactile experience with all sorts of paint build up where called for and passages of medium-infused paint where needed. And I challenged myself too, placing down more of a surface than I needed and then fighting it back with sanding and more paint.
But the town is pretty much made up – I drew some perspective lines and stayed true to scale as best I could but these bldgs. are pretty much all taken from the area in which I live. However, the foreground houses are taken from an online Kansas City real estate guide. Except for the house on the left – that is in Alhambra, CA.
Artist Von Sumner paid me what I thought was a huge compliment with regard to this piece. He said that if this were hanging in his bedroom he would have to go back to sleep after waking up in the morning with this painting in front of him. That is because the entire little city here speaks to so much labor and time that it perhaps overwhelms a bit more than the tornado – which was my intention.
In addition – note the large shadow coming in from our lower left. What the heck could that be?! Having been around storms of this nature it was just wonderful to experience/ see all the stuff that is going on in 360 rather than the point of focus we are used to on the Discovery Channel. I mean, if you’re watching a real tornado, what is going on behind you? Its not always good! And as for the language of painting this shadow becomes permanently “unassigned.” It means that there is maybe something bigger than all of it to our left but we will never know. I almost called the piece “2 Shadows” but that title is too on the nose. I’d rather leave it to something you may or may not notice.
Love your explanations on technique, meaning, side bars. In the painting – I gravitate to a story told about the inherent duality in life: The light and the shadow and all the different things that are going on in each. The light areas are warm, safe, stable, organized, unaware, busy with routine, and the Shadow areas are thrown in chaos, doubt, anxiety, fear and impending consequences of the weather. nicely done.
Reminds me of the time I was teaching in Southern Missouri; came home from school, went for a run around a lake, heard the sirens, found the school and hospital and much of the town gone. Memories like that and paintings like yours remind us of how lucky we are to get up everyday and have some semblance of a normal, working life.