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City Portal: More of Chicago

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City Portal, Painting of Chicago, By Jenny Armitage

City Portal (12 x 22 watercolor) $500

The Art Institute of Chicago again, this time from the inside.  While my daughter gift shopped, I took a whole series of photographs of the two doors to Michigan Ave.  The great doors with their iconic lamps and the people silhouetted in front fascinated me.


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Light and Shade in Cinque Terre

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Monterosso Cafe, Original Painting of the Cinque Terre, by Jenny Armitage

Monterosso Cafe (watercolor 16 x 22) $600

The Cinque Terre, or five lands do not have much in the way of tourist sites.  They are the tourist site.  The five coast hugging Italian villages feature brightly colored townhouses, residential streets made up of nothing more than a flight of stairs,  beautiful coastal trails, and tight picturesque beaches.  In July of last year they were also hot as blazes and ought to have been uncomfortable, but the narrow shady streets, and cool ocean made up for the heat.  Oh, and there was gelato too, lots of handmade gelato.

We visited the four villages actually on the coast,  and dipped our toes in the water at more the one beach.   We also climbed innumerable stairs just for the fun of climbing and looking down.  This painting is of  Monterosso, the largest of the five, and the one with the widest flattest beaches.  We stopped to sample the gelato at the cafe.  We ate it while watching our girls play in the warm surf.


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Making the Trash Cans Beautiful

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216, Painting of a Small Town Alley, by Jenny Armitage

216 (9.5 x 13.5 watercolor) $175

This is the same alley I painted for “Alley Shortcut,” but on the opposite side of the street facing the other way.  Once again I’m looking into the sun as it peeks out from the clouds.  This time it’s afternoon sun and it strikes the alley at an angle so the back lit effect is not quite so pronounced.

I must admit I like painting alleys.  There’s something sublime about making trash cans beautiful.

Painted in multiple transparent washes.  Most of the painting has at least five or six transparent layers of paint.  The palette is brown madder, quinacridone rose, cobalt blue, phthalo blue, cerulean blue, and raw sienna.


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Weatherford Hall

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Winter Morning on Campus (11 x 14) $150

Winter Morning on Campus (11 x 14) $150

This is another painting from my winter morning walk on Oregon State University. Weatherford Hall is probably the photographed building on campus and with reason. That morning the sun lit up just the top eastern half of the building.

I decided to focus on the the central archway and so I cropped out the wings before I began to paint.

The palette is ultramarine blue, cobalt blue, quinacridone deep red rose, and hansa yellow. I kept the use on hansa to a minimum. I used only for the trees, lawn and the very darkest darks.

This painting is available on-line through my Etsy shop.  Prints available from Fine Art America.com.


 

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The Annex Bar

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The Annex Bar (11 x 14)  $125

The Annex Bar (11 x 14) $125

Between art fairs and getting prints ready for my first painting fair I haven’t had time to actually paint nearly as often as I’d like.  Today I decided to paint whether I had the time or not.

And I returned to a subject I had attempted to paint without success about six or seven months again, the Annex Building in  downtown Portland.  Like many downtown Portland buildings it’s wedge shaped to take advantage of the oddly shaped blocks created where diagonals run through the city grid.  I photographed the Annex in the late afternoon when sun lit up all of the brick-a-brack.

My first attempts at painting the building ended in frustration because I included much too much detail.  This time I simplified both the brick-a-brack and the colors.  I also eliminated an upper story with a flat wall used as a a bill board facing out over the bar.  This is one case where KISS (“keep it simple stupid”) worked.

Besides eliminating detail, I also simplified the colors and reduced my palette to phthalo blue, burnt sienna, and yellow ocher.  At the very end I dropped cobalt blue into the sky.

It sure felt good to paint again, and better yet to paint something I’d failed to paint before.


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