"Down and Out" | 6" x 6" | Oil on canvas panel | S O L D
This painting received a gallery award at the 6" Squared Art Show at Randy Higbee Gallery
©2013 by Kim VanDerHoek
This piece is a bit of a departure from my usual landscape paintings. The 6" Squared Art Show at Randy Higbee Gallery was coming up and I needed to paint a few pieces to enter into it. I had a couple of landscapes ready to go but wanted to experiment using some of my photo reference images.
This painting is based off of a photo I took of my host's house that I stayed at during the Easton Plein Air event in July 2013. She had a wonderful property rich with subject matter to paint and I left her house at the end of the week with several ideas for paintings rattling around in my head. This view didn't interest me until after I got home and started going through my photos.
I'd just spent some time soaking in the amazing work of William Wray (if you don't know him Google him now) before I started my hunt for images so, his style was fresh in my head. Not that my painting looks anything like his, nor should it, he and I are different people and I want my work to be my own but, I respect what he does a great deal. I've watched his work evolve over the last few years, going from very representational to now verging on abstract. He is great at painting the mundane, raising humble places or things to heroic status using composition and very unexpected color.
With all that bouncing around in my head I wanted to really push the color in this to see how far I could take it. The photo reference is very gray with bold color only on the wood floor and the outside door. I really cropped into the photo to get the most dynamic composition and to edit out distracting elements. About midway through the painting I put the photo away and tried to respond to what the painting itself needed. At the end I wasn't sure if I like it. My husband couldn't decide either. I almost didn't enter it into the Higbee show.
In the end however, it was one of the stronger pieces I'd painted and as it turned out I got a lot of very positive feedback. One of my students said it was her favorite painting of mine, painter Debra Huse (who I respect and admire) said she loved it and would give it an award if she were a judge (wow), Jean Stern Director of the Irvine Museum said it was his favorite painting in the entire show (another wow) and to top it off it won a gallery award and sold too. More importantly though, I learned a few new things about painting, like how much more I can push color, why gray might be a better choice sometimes and areas in my work where I want to loosen up. It was a good painting to end the year on.
Happy new year to you and I wish you a very bright 2014!