Galerie Beauchamp, in old Quebec, had a lot of really fantastic contemporary art, ranging from abstract to photo-realistic. Seeing Liudmila’s european city/landscape paintings opened my eyes to the possibilities that landscape painting had to offer. These two artists opened them further.
Eugenio‘s paintings are a rainy blur of bright colors and lights. Big cities have so much going on that they can easily become overwhelming for those not accustomed to the bustle; by painting the details with splotches of colors, he unifies the space. One of the things that’s intimidated me about painting landscapes or city scenes are the thousands of little details, whether it’s the leaves, grass or the windows and straight lines that make up rows of buildings. Simplifying the process by painting the colors that make up these little details makes me feel like I could actually handle a project like this.
Seeing the boring made exciting is a huge creative booster shot. Like in the painting below, see how he makes the cobblestones tell a story about the city through their reflections. The scene is warm and exciting; the bar signs serve to guide your eyes through the streets lit by old-fashioned lanterns toward the crowd of people making their way up the street.
Nemo‘s work caught the eye of both myself and my husband; we were very tempted to take one home with us! If only I wasn’t about to be an art student… anyway, he brings cityscapes to life through use of mixed media. There is much to take in between textures, landmarks, and reflections. The foggy atmosphere gives a dream-like effect to his work. If you look at his paintings closely you’ll see that some parts are more in focus than others; this helps to guide your eye around the frame, taking everything in.
More and more I see cities painted with strips of color. Some areas, like the sky and background, are left out of focus on purpose because your eyes can fill in those details on their own. The mix of old weathered colors and bright primaries gives an interesting divide to the subject matter, calming it down.
The painting above lets the artist’s lines show through to the finished product, allowing us a glimpse at how he created the piece. It’s a bold move, but since the city is built on so many lines I find these elements work well together.
Tim took lots of lovely photos of the cities we visited, and over the summer I hope to take one or two of them and attempt to recreate them in an impressionist style. Though I’m not sure what materials to use (brush or palette knife?) I’m ready to jump right in! Landscapes can certainly be boring subjects, but I’m learning that it’s up to the artist to make them exciting, whether it’s through the use of color, embellishing details or by making them tell a story.