Tag Archives: New York City

Freedom Tower

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My next piece won’t be part of the paradise series.  It’s going to be a full-size drawing of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center, as seen from my window.  Here’s a quick sketch….of course I have to work on those verticals.

The bombings in Boston reminded me so much of the atmosphere around NYC after 9/11.  It’s both a personal, and a community metaphor of rebirth.  I don’t want to go into any patriotic mumbo-jumbo, but nations can rebuild and be stronger.   So can people, I’ve seen it in myself, and many others.   So, here’s to rebirth.

An Urban Paradise

I have concentrated on natural beauty as paradise. The truth is, though, some of us have found our paradise in a big city. What can be paradise among t he noise, bad smells, crowds and dirt? It’s a matter of being part of a community. For some of us, that’s paradise..

Here I am featuring the lower Manhattan skyline as it is, now. The tall building is the Freedom Tower, the new World Trade Center. I also played a lot with types of pencil strokes…scribbles, parallel lines, and more in order to create a more atmospheric effect.

Okay, doing non-profit landscapes is all well and good…..but how do I get them out to people? I don’t have money to promote them, and most art shows cost plenty to participate. The internet of course, but I’m among how many billions of websites? It’s a miracle anyone finds me.

In NYC,it’s legal for artists to set up their work in certain places, as long as they have a business license. Despite that, artists do get harassed by the police. I’m not sure I’d want to deal with that. It would also take away from my precious weekend time off. So, I’m still thinking, and open to suggestions.nycatdusk72

Breaking the Rules

Sometimes, in both life and in art, you have to say “screw it” to all the rules you know.

Actually, I can’t think of a good example of life, at the moment, but I’m sure others have.

I have always relied on a limited palette to hold together a composition.  Then I was faced with this:

 

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I took this photo with my cellphone.  I was looking to capture the cliché of paradise of being in the sky with clouds.

As I looked at it, I saw a wide variety of colors…..and just using a limited palette won’t work.

Another rule I broke was never to draw a sunset, too cliché.  I think though, that the urban foreground with the construction and crane makes it original.

Here’s the initial sketch…got a lot to do before I do the big one.

 

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Prussian Blue

I have done some new work on the sunny chair picture.  In it, I use liberally a color known as Indigo Blue.  I use that color a lot, never sure why.  I often use it in place of black, because it make a picture more interesting, IMO.

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But last night, coming home from work, I glanced at the dusky sky.  It was past sunset, and almost all of the light had drained from the sky.  I looked at the color of the sky, and thought, “Prussian Blue’, which was my Dad’s favorite color, and similar to indigo blue.  Maybe that’s the root of my love of that color.

Yesterday, a number of incidents reminded me of my father.  A man stopped by the store who had a familiar accent.  It turned out he was from Chicago.  As I was arranging pastries later, I noticed we had a lot of prune danish, my Dad’s favorite.

My father left his childhood home when has was only thirteen, with only an eighth grade education.  He rode the rails as a hobo for a time, and in later years, remembered those times fondly.

Eventually he ended up in Chicago.  He was a swimmer, and spent summers as a lifeguard on Lake Michigan.  There he met Johnny Weissmuller, an Olympic medal winner, who was best known for his portrayal of Tarzan in the movies.  However, my Dad was friends more with Johnny’s brother Pete.

They were all on a swim team back then.  There was another good swimmer that they were considering, but decided he was too young.  That swimmer eventually became a movie star as well, and eventually President of the United States.  His name was Ronald Reagan.

I get the impression that most of the time in Chicago, my father lived a rowdy life, brawling, drinking and carousing with women.  Since his first name was Ellwin,can you blame him?

Because of his defined swimmer’s body, during the winter he posed as a nearly nude model at the Art Institute of Chicago.  There, he decided he wanted to become an artist.  Someone told him flatly no, he’d never be an artist.  This only made my Dad more determined.

He eventually came to New York City, because that’s where most commercial art was.  His best client was a famous shirt company, and he spent his days meticulously coping the prints on the shirts into illustrations.  He was well paid for this.

In fact, he was able to live a great lifestyle, expensive vacations, and buying extravagant gifts for my mother.  This all came to an end when the shirt company decided to use photographs, instead, and I grew up in financially strapped family.

I never knew much about my Dad’s family.  He cut all ties.  I know he had a sister, Dorothy, who ran off to follow the evangelist Amy Semple Macpherson.  I think he had a brother Curtis, who lived in Florida.  It’s mostly a mystery.  Whenever I hear of someone with the last name Baldwin, I always wonder….

 

Here’s a very bad photograph of a painting my father did.  It’s his work of social commentary’; a protest of nuclear weapons.  And yes, in the background, he used Prussian Blue.

 

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Lazy Day

Been a busy week, and now I’m having a restful day.  Did a little work on Sunny Chair, but I’ve put a hold on it for a while.  I’m too tired to really do a good job.

So, I thought I’d show some odds and ends of work I’ve done but never featured. 

As usual, you can see more of my work at http://www.roxannebaldwin.com

 

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This was a sketch for the window reflection in “Sentinel”.

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Here’s a commission I did for a young man.  It’s designed to go on a black t-shirt.

 

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Another commission for that young man.  This is for a white T-shirt.

 

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An ACEO (art card) of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

 

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And a quick-sketch portrait of Richard, my bf.

Will post more, some other tired, lazy day.

59th Street Bridge

This is a drawing of the bridge that spans the East River between Manhattan and Queens. It’s commonly called the 59th Street Bridge, but its official name is the Queensboro Bridge.

I wanted to add some interest to the background, so it wouldn’t be an ordinary picture of a structure.

I did this a couple of years ago. I’m presently working some more on Sentinel, and I hope to have an update, soon.