Down and Out - Original Oil Painting of a Stairway - Interior Art - 6 Squared Show at Randy Higbee Gallery - 6 x 6 Art Show

"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 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!


What an interesting blog you posted today. You can be very proud of your success with this painting. It is most unusual. I am going to check out your links too.