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Monday, October 22, 2012

"Port of Call" 12.5" X 28.5" watercolor

Port of Call by April M. Rimpo
Port of Call
12.5" X 28.5" image
19" X 35" brushed silver frame

Port of Call depicts the hustle and bustle of New York, but this time at the port.  Like my painting Morning in NYC this painting was derived from a photograph I had taken from the Empire State Building. It’s amazing all you can see from the Empire State Building.  The port of call in NYC is across Manhattan Island, but the ships are so large they stand out from the rest of the view.  The bright red ship and the white ship made a natural composition.  All I needed to do was eliminate some of the smaller ships and boats and reduce some of the clutter on the docks to make the scene easier to understand.  After a recent trip to NYC I noticed a train yard with a large number of shipping crates.  I had photographed the crates, so the shipping crate photo was a color reference for crates that are stacked on the dock.

Since the red ship is the star of this painting I wanted most of the scene to be neutral in color to help emphasize the ship, but it was important to have a few additional spots of red to make the ship fit in with the rest of the painting.  There is an adage you hear when you study art that it is important to repeat colors, shapes and line 3 times but to have the repetition be different sizes to make it interesting.  It is often referred to as the Momma, Poppa, Baby Bear rule.   I think I first heard it in a workshop with Chen-khee Chee nearly 15 years ago.  If you look around the painting you will find different spots of red in different sizes where the ship is the Poppa-sized  red.  I think you'll find the Momma red easily, but you may have to work a little more to identify the Baby Bear shapes.

When you read my bio you hear me talk about how I love watercolor because I can work more loosely and freely, letting the paint run and reacting to what is happening.  Even though that is true I also find occasionally doing a painting like this one is very relaxing for me.  Instead of being constantly on my toes deciding what to do based on what is happening with the paint, I work in a very controlled manner allowing me to get the lines in the city correct.  The challenge, however, is to make sure the focal point stands out and is not lost.  My decisions when designing and painting are which details to make clear and which to subdue so they don't detract from the star.

To see other city-scape paintings by April see these other blog posts:
I have limited edition archival prints available of many of these paintings.
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.

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  1. Oh my gosh, April! This is exquisite! I'm so impressed and awed by your work. I look forward to hearing what the public reaction is to this piece! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks, Katherine. I hope to hear from the public. I haven't figured out your secret to getting followers.


I look forward to hearing from you. - April

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