Monday, November 19, 2012

Out and About: Linden

Linden-Blue Diamond Almond Plant

Linden-Unknown Warehouse/Barn

Linden-Backside of building next to church?
The Photos:
On Thursday I made a trip to the Bay Area to visit with my cousin, her aunt, and my own aunt (my cousin's mother-got all that? LOL!).  To get there, I pass through the small farming town of Linden. I love all of the orchards and buildings that are there. It just seems like an area that is filled with lots of painting opportunities-more so than my own town for sure.  The buildings are great. They seem to be older and interesting in an architectural kind of way. 

The first shot shows another view of the almond plant. Don't mind the barbed wire-I wouldn't include that. But I do like that tower section of the building. It repeats itself three times and I thought originally this might be the idea to convey. Maybe not though because as I cropped the photo I started to just focus on the one tower and the hint of the second tower. The windows are great for me too as I love the lines that they make-you can really follow them. The clouds seem to be converging overhead also which is interesting to me.

The second shot shows a large barn/warehouse that was across from the plant. I hadn't noticed it before but that zig zag roofline caught my eye. It is a very typical treatment in this area for a building-a graduated facade front (for lack of a better term). Incidentally, I have asked an architect about that roof line and he thought perhaps it was an Art Deco influence. Not sure about that but it is possible. In any case it is a strange fusion of Art Deco lines with a rural, old west type of building.

The last shot shows two buildings next to each other. Originally, I pulled over for a shot of that brick building. I didn't show this shot, but the building is perfectly symmetrical from the backside-same number of windows and doors on each side as well as that crazy staircase. I thought maybe that was the story but as I cropped the photo I saw that I could make it a tall shot to include the building next store and highlight the effect of that alleyway. The photo quality sucks, I know, but you can still get the idea. I could lower the top to so there wasn't so much sky and create an even more narrowed-in feeling with that alley. Not totally sure yet. I like the shape of the sky (the negative space created by the building roof line) and how it looks sort of similar to the bottom space. And I am not bothered by the photo being nearly split in half by the two buildings.  I think the length and angle of the left hand building mitigates that and even so, the split is a design feature for me for balance. Anyway, those are just my personal thoughts.

What I am working On Now:
On Sunday I worked on an idea and a drawing for a landscape piece. I have shied away almost entirely from any rainy day scenes. That hesitancy is due to ONE bad painting that I made early on. But being nervous has caused me to overlook the real beauty of the landscape on a rainy and gray day. A lack of shadows doesn't translate to a bad painting for one thing and then the colors of the trees and grasses and dirt are very pronounced against such a neutral background. They are wet also which seems to enhance their color. And finally, there can be a very peaceful feeling to such a scene-no one is about and it's very quiet. (Unless of course it is raining down cats and dogs.)

Abstract Thoughts:
Lastly, I have been thinking so much lately about working more abstractly (without a drawing). I may have been thinking about this since the beginning of the year even, it has been that long. I admit that I don't really know where to start with it. Writing about something always seems to help and so I may try that. I don't want to get away from what I feel is a successful way of expressing myself (my current landscapes and architectural works) and so I think it isn't the style so much as the subject matter or motivation for the painting. Can I take what I love about the landscape and put that on canvas in another way? I don't know yet.

OK, I have cardiac rehab today and a painting to start. I am on deck for making dinner also so we will see how everything comes together. Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a great start to the week.


  1. On first glance, I thought the first picture was a prison building. That would be an interesting set of paintings. I rather like the barbed wire and the fence.

    The sky in each picture is very interesting so looks like you will have 3 different treatments to master with the sky.

    An ambitious group--should keep you going for a week or so!

  2. Reading your thought process is fascinating, Libby. Everything you wrote made me look at each photo in a new way. I like the march of small windows around the top of the first building, but would I have thought about the clouds converging? In the second photo, the color and the zig zag line are definitely interesting and immediately catch the eye. And, in the third, I love that unusual railing, and the way you cropped the photo to emphasize the size difference in the 2 bldgs and bring out the alleyway. My impression is that you are already thinking abstractly in the way you look at buildings and lines in your photos.
    I really love your architectural paintings as well as your landscapes.
    Hope your busy day didn't leave you too tired!!

  3. Libby, you are a master when it comes to analyzing a potential scene for a painting. You give things a lot of pre-thought which I am sure irons out many questions and problems before you start. I agree with Judy that you pointed out things you saw that I hadn't noticed. You put my own preparation to shame. I like the clean lines of these buildings. It'll be interesting to see how you interpret them in your work!


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