Last year I began experimenting more with limited color palettes and schemes. By using colors that arerelated, I can achieve color harmonies that evoke certain emotions or project a certain mood. By limiting the colors in the piece, different colors can interact without interference from too many varying hues. This can help create a mood, be aesthetically pleasing, and appear natural as the same type of light is hitting everything.
In this painting, I went to a bar in Spokane and asked if I could take some photos. I took numerous photos of the scene and the people, noting the atmosphere, the lighting, and soaking in the feeling of being there. The painting I composed is reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks in which people gather at a café but do not interact with each other. In this piece, I decided to show a place that people would normally go for social interaction. Yet in the painting, no interaction is being had and everyone is keeping to themselves. The room seems empty with no one sitting at the tables, and the three figures at the bar are not looking at each other. I used the arrangement of the figures sitting at the bar and the warm color scheme to create a somber but intense mood. The color scheme is mostly analogous with the only complimentary colors being in the clothing of the closest man sitting at the bar and in the American flag, making both a point of emphasis. Another connection between the American flag and this figure is the stripes used in each. This hints at the way the piece is commenting on society and the desire we have as humans to connect with each other yet often do not for a variety of reasons.
This painting was inspired by a cowboy’s ride in the 2019 Cody Stampede Rodeo. I composed the piece using references I had taken at the event. In the piece, the bull is the point of emphasis. I used warm neutral colors and a very limited palette to paint this piece. I placed the cowboy’s legs at the right of the composition, showing the cowboy flying out of the painting. This adds both humor and mystery to this cowboy’s wild ride. In the way I composed the piece and painted the dust around the bull, I wanted to suggest movement. The painting captures the bull’s moment of triumph over a cowboy.
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