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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bicycle Series - A new view in the mix

Aerial Bikes I, watercolor by April M Rimpo
Aerial Bikes I
12" X 23.5 image

When in a large city tall buildings abound.  This also means views from above are just waiting to be captured.  Aerial Bikes I does just that.  I've done several paintings of cycles, but these have all been “ground level” views of the side of the bicycles.  After all this is the most recognizable view and one of the “rules” is to make sure the elements in your art are recognizable.  Although safe from a recognition perspective, it is sometimes fun to take a different look at common things.  That is what I did in Aerial Bikes I.

Looking at a bike from the 12th floor of a hotel eliminates the round spoked wheels. Now the handle bars become the most recognizable element and, in this case, the basket on one of the bikes. I chose a shot I took when a person was walking past the bikes.  By introducing the figure I believe the fact you are looking from above becomes clear.  Now when you look back at the two bicycles I hope you begin to understand what they are.  A glint of light from the wheels attracts the eye and makes you linger a bit longer until all of a sudden you realize “bikes!”  
Stay tuned for more aerial views in the future.

To see available prints check my store.

Other bicycle paintings by April can be seen in April's blog posts:
Images of these paintings are shown below.

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.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Intersections and City Reflections II, watercolors on paper

Intersections, 29" x 22" watercolor 

When most people go to NYC they probably take pictures of The Empire State Building, The Chrysler Building, Time Square, the Flat Iron Building, Freedom Tower, and of course the Statue of Liberty.  Like everyone else I take those photographs, but I also am intrigued by what is on top of all the other buildings.  There are all kinds of interesting equipment, water towers, heat and cooling systems, and other things that I don’t really understand.  The tops of buildings feel much like little cities of their own.  They often look like a throw-back to another era.  I’m especially intrigued by the water towers, which I assume are for use in case of fire.

My painting, Intersections is my homage to the rooftops and the amazing architectural details on so many of the building in NYC, the view from on high.  In a way I consider scenes like this as portraits of what keeps the city going, the internal workings of the city.  I also hope to help others see the scroll work and other architectural details that looms above your head as you walk the streets looking for the perfect restaurant, your hotel, or as you make your way to a show on Broadway. 
29" X 22" image
36" X 29" brushed silver frame


City Reflections II, 23" X 16" watercolor 
City Reflections II depicts 
reflections of older buildings in a modern glass building.  Included in the reflections are elements from the roofs of older buildings.  My goal is to meld the old with the new, joining architectural eras through the reflection. For me the details of the chimneys and ventilation systems are part of what makes it interesting to explore this painting.  As in Intersections the normally unseen is brought to the forefront in City Reflections II. This painting was based on a photograph I took in Seattle.

City Reflections II
23" X 16" image
31" X 23" brushed silver frame

I hope you enjoy my silent nods to parts of the city less traveled. To see available prints check my store.

Blog posts on some of April’s other cityscape paintings can be found at these links:

Contact April here

Interested in learning more about April's art inspirations, tips about her painting process, or art business tidbits? Want to know when her art is in exhibits? Consider joining her friends and collectors by signing up for her twice-monthly email.

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.

Lessons through Small Paintings

I've been having a blast creating small paintings for the last few weeks.  It started after a friend of mine told me she was going to do a 6"x 6" painting every day for the last 3 months of this year.  Her goal: 100 paintings in 100 days.  I decided that since I still have some large pieces I'd like to do for a variety of exhibit possibilities, that my goal would be to do one large painting and one small painting each week.
Wisteria I, 6" X 5.5" acrylic on paper

Wisteria I
by April M Rimpo
6" X 5.5"
acrylic on paper, matted and framed 10" X 8"

Well, since I was finding these small pieces so enjoyable I have exceeded my small painting goal, but completed only one large painting in the last two weeks.  I'm actually okay with that, since I feel I am learning a number of new things in the process.  As you scan down the images at left, you can see that many of these were done using fluid acrylic instead of watercolor. Often I'll combine fluid acrylic with watercolor in my paintings because I like some of the textures I can create with fluid acrylic. However, in these small paintings I used only fluid acrylic.  Working very wet into wet, they appear much like watercolors, with the exception of Wisteria I, where I intentionally thickened the fluid acrylic paint with an acrylic medium to be able to raise some of the wisteria blooms up off the surface of the paper.

View by the Bridge, 7.5" X 12" acryic on paper

The two water scenes were done "en plein air" (i.e., on site outdoors). A fellow artist and I went to a lovely spot in Annapolis to paint.  Everywhere we looked was another great view asking to be painted.  There was even a group of a dozen kayakers who departed from the park where we were painting.  Too hard to paint fast enough to capture them, but since I had my camera with me I hope to capture them soon in a studio painting.
"View by the Bridge"
by April M Rimpo
7.5" X 12"
acrylic on paper, no mat
$125 + $12.50 shipping and handling with US

A Seagull's Life, 5.25" X 12, acrylic on paper

"A Seagull's Life"
by April M Rimpo
5.25" X 12"
acrylic on paper, no mat
$80 + $12.50 shipping and handling within US

Chickens in the Road, 6" X 6" acrylic on aquabord

As I progressed with my small paintings I decided it was a good time to try different platforms. Instead of working only on paper, some were on aquabord and others on canvas. Chickens in the Road is the first of my acrylic on aquabord paintings.  Aquabord is a product by Ampersand that is made with a clay-like surface on a Masonite-like base.  It was created specifically for people who work in very wet media, like watercolor or fluid acrylic. You can paint on it very much like working on paper.  When done, you spray it with a fixative to protect the clay surface, then use an archival mineral spirit acrylic varnish to further protect the painting. The painting can then be framed without glass.
"Chickens in the Road"
by April M Rimpo
6" X 6" in blond wood frame
acrylic on Aquabord

Artist at Work I, acrylic on 10" X 8" canvas

Years ago I painted with oil on canvas, but Artist at Work I may be my first painting on canvas using a water-medium.  Again I decided to use acrylic rather than watercolor. Some canvases are prepared specifically for watercolor, but this was not one of those.  I decided to try using very watered-down acrylic to see if it would work on the canvas.  I very much like the final result. When looking at this in a larger image, the texture of the canvas is prominent since the acrylic was so thinned out. I feel that texture enhances the abstracted appearance I wanted for this painting.
"Artist at Work I"
by April M Rimpo
10" X 8"
acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas
$160 shipping and handling within the US

Meeting in Provence, 8" X  7.5" watercolor on paper

Meeting in Provence, is the only sample in this post of a small watercolor on paper.  Unlike my larger watercolors, I wanted a simple scene that was striking to look at because of my use of color and strong contrasts. These two appear to have met on the street and struck up a conversation.

I plan to continue my exploration through small works and hope you will  join me along the way.  It would be great if we too could strike up a conversation as they did in this painting.
"Meeting in Provence"
by April M Rimpo
8" X 7.5"
watercolor on paper, no mat
$75 + $6 shipping and handling within US

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Friday, October 4, 2013

More Beautiful with Age, 22" X 29 watercolor

More Beautiful with Age watercolor by April M. Rimpo
More Beautiful with Age
22" X 29" image
29" X 36" brushed silver frame

Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  I suspect that when we were driving down the road in Vermont looking for a covered bridge my husband never expected me to ask him to turn around and go back for a couple of old rusting cars in a field.  The car closest to the road is the one that caught my eye, but as I walk across the field I discovered there were actually three cars.  The one shown here was not the one that initially caught my eye.  However as I wandered from one car to the next I found the interlacing of the flowers with this car to be the most compelling. There is something about these kinds of contrasts that often draw my attention.

I find just about anything can be an inspiration for a painting.  My husband has apparently learned this with time because he no longer questions me about why we had to drive back to a given place.  I hope this is because he likes the result when I finally get around to doing the painting, but it may simply be easier to go along with it than to challenge my inspiration.

I have even found when traveling with other artists that what draws my eye is not the same things that draws their eye.  I went for a drive one late afternoon with a fellow artist who was taking the same workshop as I.  We were out getting the lay of the land with no particular destination, so I kept stopping to take pictures of the birds, landscape, houses, whatever caught my eye.  As we were returning to the hotel where we were staying I stopped one more time to photograph an egret in the marsh.  She had not seen the bird and mentioned how amazed she was at all the things I see; especially since I was the one driving. You may be thinking you don’t want to be anywhere near me when I am driving; that I am a road hazard.  Well I think I am safer than other artists I know, since I do this in very rural locations and I do pull over to the side of the road to take the pictures.  A short walk to get back to the location is not unusual.  I know some of my artist friends have actually figured out how to take pictures when driving down the highway.  Yikes!   I guess it is all relative.

Well I hope the crazy inspiration for this painting makes you smile and maybe even takes you to a place in your past.  Let me know about what inspires your work.

If this painting really "tickles your fancy" and you might like the original or a print contact April.  Samples of some of my limited edition prints are available in my online shop.

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