Saturday, December 20, 2014


The Virtual Paintout is visiting Rome this month so I went along to see where Google Street View could take me to set up my easel.

Since the cameras stayed mostly on the street there was no looking inside the Vatican or the Sistine Chapel.  But that’s okay because there’s a virtual tour of the chapel which takes a while to load but gives a chance to examine everything there at leisure without the crowds.

 Another disappointment was seeing the Trevi Fountain drained and being renovated. 
A news story by the BBC, related in a very Cumberbatch voice, can be found here.

Still, there were several museums available for virtual tour, mostly filled with lots of marble statues in various stages of undress, and lots of chunks of columns and relics from ancient structures.

No Google Street View car went down the Spanish Steps like cars do in every action movie shot in Rome. 

But I found a great view of the city from the top of the steps which I used to create this painting.

There is also a very thorough tour of The Coliseum.

 So I used one of the halls where a guy was doing a photo shoot as my next subject.
see my location here:

Then I virtually wandered down into the city and noticed an exhibit of Warhol Paintings was on display there.

So my last painting was a driveby of the show posters.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I came across the bicycle rack on campus one morning last April.  Sunlight was streaming through a break between tall buildings and bouncing off all the shiny metal surfaces.

I took a few photos of the little scene and even created a blog post about playing with one of the pictures in Photoshop.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I was looking for inspiration for my next painting.

 I remembered the bicycle rack and brought up one of the snapshots for another look.
I decided to try and capture the memory of that sunny spring morning in a painting.

The first big chore was to simplify that very detailed subject and create a value drawing.

 Then I used tracing paper and a felt marker to draw out the edges.

 After a few days and hours I came up with this finished painting.  Still, some of the colors looked a little muddy and others weren’t as intense as I would have liked.

 So back to the drawing board.  Hoping I’d made most of my mistakes the first time I came up with this final version.  I’m calling it, “Bicycle Rack.”  Not very imaginative, perhaps, but I’m sticking to it.