91 West - Urban Art - Street View Oil Painting - Cityscape - Freeway Art - Bridge Painting - Contemporary Art

"91 West" | 16" x 20" | Oil on panel
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2015 by Kim VanDerHoek

I had 20 minutes before I had to drop my oldest kid off at a sporting event. The previous 4 hours I'd spent completely overworking and ruining a painting of Crystal Cove State Beach. I'd been painting the beach for an upcoming gallery show and the entire time I was working I felt like I was forcing a painting out because of the looming show deadline. The beach wasn't what I wanted to paint that day. Instead, I kept thinking about a series of freeway photos I'd shot the day before.

After my disaster earlier at the easel I felt as though I had nothing to loose so I decided to bang out a quick freeway scene in the 20 minutes I had remaining. Below is the 8" x 10" quick study I produced in that time.

"Interconnection" | 8" x 10" | Oil on panel
Available at www.KimVanDerHoek.com
©2015 by Kim VanDerHoek
I often tell my students not to be discouraged by a failed painting but to look at that painting as a stepping stone to the next one. Of course, that's easier said than done. 
Honestly though, I don't think I would have produced this small study if the previous 4 hours at my easel hadn't gone so horribly wrong. When I was finished I knew there was something about this study, something worth further exploration. 
The painting at the top of this post is the larger version created using the small study only as a guide. I made a few changes like adding the truck and trying out an underpainting in a bold yellowish tone. Lots of edges were broken, the paint application is loose and I warmed or cooled a few colors.

For me this represents a new direction in my work and one I've been exploring lately. There have been plenty of failed paintings along the way but I am pleased with how these two turned out. While they aren't my usual bucolic landscape scenes, these urban views have been an area I've wanted to explore for a long time and I finally feel confident enough in my skills to tackle them.