This small landscape was a lot of fun to paint. It’s a scene from one of my visits over the past month to historic Bordentown, NJ. Although it’s painted from a photograph I enjoyed the experience of creating it as much a I do a plein-air piece. This perspective would have been difficult to obtain without blocking the sidewalk.
The attraction in the vista for me were the umbrellas at this sidewalk cafe. Umbrellas are often a point of interest that I am drawn to as are sidewalk cafes. Perhaps its the sense of gathering under something and being outdoors. The liveliness of people laughing, talking and connecting carries a beautiful energy. The protection offered by a simple umbrella and the aura of summer activity I find engaging. What also drew me in on a more subtle level was the before hours aspect of the experience coupled with an anticipation of activity as the lunch hour approached. There was a spirit of hopefulness within the space.
In starting the painting I had initially left the white text out on the umbrellas debating leaving a solid red. After sitting with the painting for awhile it seemed like the white script might add something to the joyful nature of painting that I was aiming to capture. I think, the addition of the text added to the beautiful details contained within the scene which helped illustrate the character and personality on this corner of the avenue.
It’s a fun little oil painting overall and one that is full of color. I admit to some challenge getting an image that is true to the palette of colors actually used, but this is close. I think there’s a bit more warmth in the actual painting that doesn’t quite come across here. Enjoy!