In the Works: Painting Montreal

With the coming of Winter, I have been thinking quite a bit about my move to Montreal in the winter of 2008 and how the fact that I did not have much time for painting in 2009 meant that very few of my works depict the scenery that I often sketched and photographed there [above, houses along Carré St-Louis]. Now, a year since my return to Huntsville, I am drawing inspiration from the very first sketch I did in Montreal. The finished painting is to be a view from the 17th floor of a hotel I was staying in on Sherbrooke Street whilst apartment hunting (finding the skyscrapers downtown interesting but far too harsh in terms of aesthetics, I first moved to the French Quarter). I am rather drawn to views from windows because I am far too used to seeing stores, offices, homes, and other structures that seem to have been designed to obscure or obliterate the outdoors. An open window is often a cheerful call to go outside and explore.
I began my Sherbrooke Street painting with some light pencil guidelines and an uneven wash of thin, blue paint [above]. This seemed like an appropriate backdrop for a snowy, gray, blustery day in the city.
Currently, I am in the process of building up layers of paint [above, a small detail from the unfinished painting], deliberately keeping most of my strokes vertical so as to create the illusion of rising and falling-- the height of the buildings reaching to meet the falling snow.

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