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Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Streetcar", 14" X 22" watercolor

Streetcar by April M. Rimpo
12"X20" image
in brushed silver frame
$720 within the United State*
Sometimes you just know exactly how you want a painting to look even before the event has occurred.  As I stood in my hotel room poised at the window looking at the street scene below a transit street car had stopped to pickup passengers.  I knew quite a few taxi cabs traveled the street perpendicular to the street car that I had only a small glimpse of from my window.  I knew the orange of the street car and the orange-yellow of the taxi would make a great composition, enforcing the interesting angles of the streets and buildings. I  patiently started to snap pictures hoping to catch a taxi in the frame before the street car moved on its way.  Finally a taxi drove by and I caught its picture.

Since I had seen this painting in my head and was able to catch it live, there was not much to do once I got home to compose the painting.  My primary job was to retain the repeated oranges (street car, taxi, and the reflection of the street car in the windows), simplify shapes, and adjust colors slightly in the windows to make the color theme work as I envisioned it.  Had the taxi arrived after the cable car left I could have taken a picture of the taxi then combined the two photographs in my painting; but catching it live had become almost a game of chase to see whether I could get it before the street car departed.

I liked how other buildings between my vantage point and the street car had created a natural frame on the sides of my composition, but I didn't want the details of the brick building on the right or the stripes of the building on the left to detract so I only hinted at the brick and essentially eliminated the vertical stripes. The angle of the wall in the foreground helped to accentuate the angle at the corner, so I retained a portion of the wall where I could repeat the angle formed by the street car and the taxi.
Designing this painting in the moment was exciting and rewarding.  Let me know what you think of the final result.

* Contact April regarding purchase 

Copyright April M Rimpo All Rights Reserved. You may share my work with attribution and a link to this source site, but all other uses are prohibited.


  1. This is a beautiful painting. And thank you so much for sharing your thought process in composing the piece. Too many artists don't talk about that part, and it's the most important step in a painting! I like how the oranges and reds move around effectively, and the lines you talked about shape the piece. Very nicely done! I envy you the fact that your vision turned out the way you wanted it to on the paper! That's my problem usually.

    1. Thanks, Katherine. Usually I take pictures that interest me and that I think have the potential for a good painting, but I don't necessarily have a clear vision like I did for this painting. Having the painting in my head before the coincidence of the cable car and taxi occurred was a first.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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