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Door to Chicago

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Door to Chicago, an original watercolor by Jenny Armitage

Door to Chicago (watercolor 16 x 22) $700

A look through the Chicago Art Institute’s doorway onto Michigan Ave.


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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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The Art Institute of Chicago

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Witing for the Museum to Open, a Chicago Painting by Jenny Armitage

Just Before the Museum Opens (watercolor 17 x 22) $600

I love city light.   The shafts of light created by openings in the tall buildings, the reflectivity of building and pavement, and the flat surfaces for shadows all lead to one thing—drama.

This particular drama is the long shadows and the warm glow of  a Chicago winter morning.  The crowd is up early and waiting for The Art Institute of Chicago to open up.   The crowd and bus hide one lion, but the other can be seen peeking out from behind the traffic light.


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Clock Cafe

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Clock Cafe, Watercolor of a  Paris Cafe by Jenny Armitage

Clock Cafe (12 x 16 watercolor) $400

The d’Orsay Musee in Paris, was once a railway station.  The original exterior clocks now serve as windows on the upper floor.   I painted one of them a few months ago.  That clock is opposite the gift shop and attracts as many tourists as the paintings.   The other clock serves as the window in the museum cafe giving the cafe a charm all it’s own.  Here it is.


I poured this painting is a similar manner to the first clock painting.

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Inside The Musee d’Orsay

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Inside Paris Time, Painting, By Jenny Armitage

Inside Paris Time, (12 x 16 watercolor on paper) SOLD

We are just back from a fabulous trip to London, Rome, Florence and Paris.  Our first museum visit in Paris was the d’Orsay, a fantastic art museum that picks up chronologically where the Louvre leaves off.   Van Gogh Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Cezanne are all well represented.   But this painting is not about the art in the d’Orsay, but rather about the museum building itself.  The d’Orsay began it’s life as a train station.  The gigantic clocks which once informed train passengers of the time remain in the building both inside and out.   This clock is one of two facing the Seine River and the Tuileries Gardens.  Outside the clock faces appear opaque.  Inside it becomes obvious that the clock faces are actually windows  Museum patrons are as drawn to the view through the clocks as they are to the artwork in the galleries.

To capture the feeling of the light through the clock, I primarily poured this painting, using removable masking and cups of paint instead of brushes.  Only the final details and the view through the clock were added with a brush.   I used New Gamgee, Hansa Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue, Thalo Blue, Rose Madder Quinacridone, and Windsor Red.

This painting has sold but you can still  purchase an art quality print.

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The Mill Reflects Upon Itself

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The Mill Reflects Upon Itself (13 x 16) $200

The Mill Reflects Upon Itself (13 x 16) $200

I love the way old glass distorts reflections. This is the second painting of reflections in old glass I’ve done at the Mission Mill Museum.

The old woolen mill is well worth the visit. Most of the original equipment remains inside the mill house and the mill wheel and machinery remains operable. One of these days I’ll have to paint the whole building. It’s bright red and looks like a stack of buildings piled up like crates rather than a single structure. The effect is charming and oddly reminiscent of a child’s toy.

In the meantime I remain fascinated by the glass. Here, a dye house window reflects the mill itself. I love the abstract designs created in the window panes.

I created the siding with multiple washes of paint. I began by painting the shadows in french ultramarine blue. Then I washed all of the siding with with a mixture of deep red rose grayed down a little with phthalo green. Next came Da Vinci’s burnt sienna, followed by HWC’s burnt sienna. The first is really very orange and the second verges on red. I didn’t wash the highlights with the redder sienna. Then I washed the shadowed siding in burnt umber followed by cobalt blue. I like the resulting glow from all of those translucent layers of paint.

I used much the same process for the reflected mill, except that I didn’t use any burnt umber and the final layer of deep red rose.


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