Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painting, Urban Landscape

Underpass beside the Broadway Bridge



6″ x 8″ oil on panel

I like the abstract shapes that are formed by urban structures, especially the unintended ones. I’m sure no architects or planners spent time mulling how best to design this site from an aesthetic perspective.

I read a lot of painting blogs and many painters write very well about the technical aspects of painting, especially composition. I’ve never been very good at talking or writing that way. I used to worry about it. When I was in college, I asked for exercises to help me better grasp the concepts of composition.

I think, now, that different people think about design in different ways. Some are more analytical and others are more intuitive. I’ve reached the conclusion that I’m more intuitive. It’s not that I don’t think about the design of my work. I consider negative space and the way the eye moves and such but I don’t break it down in terms that I can express verbally. I look at the painting and feel what I want it to look like.

Of course, you may say, “well, frankly, Bill, your compositional skills are not that great”.

Since I’m not much good at talking about it, I couldn’t argue the point with you very effectively. I don’t really want to argue with you anyway.

17 thoughts on “Underpass beside the Broadway Bridge”

  1. Bill – argument is a waste of time as far as visual art goes. Ya sees what ya sees, accept it or not. No point inputting forth convoluted arguments. Your intention in showing what caught your interest in this sketch is eloquently shown with the direct notation and the vigour of colour and shape. Nice! G


  2. Hi Bill
    I totally enjoy your work, how you are going about learning and growing. Keep it up!!

    Design rules in creating art takes creativity out of the art. Tell your story about what you see as you see it. That the gift that is offered to the viewer.


  3. Hi Bob, I’m glad to see you still stop by once in a while. I enjoy visiting your blog as well. Thanks for the encouragement.


  4. Very energetic. Very nice. I really gravitate to impressionistic and leaning (no pun intended here Bill) towards the abstract kind of painting. I’m going to post something a tiny bit like this next week. Would love your input whether negative or positive.


  5. David, thanks for stopping by. BTW, David Loyd is one of my favorite painting blogs. In fact I was thinking of him and William Wray when I painted this one.


  6. Love the freedom and fearless, gestural quality of your paintings. Painters paint and show us what and how they feel. Once the analytical process takes over, it cancells the whole idea. There is a classic New Yorker cartoon where the artist, while looking at a patron admiring his work, declares ” How can YOU know what I meant, when I don’t even know ” ( or words similar! ) Your work is very moving – I enjoy your site immensely.


  7. Bonnie, Welcome to my blog and thank you for your encouraging words. I like that New Youker quote, I’ve certainly felt like that.


  8. Bill, I agree with Bonnie about the fearless gestural quality.
    I too am clueless about compositional terms. I often leave a comment on other’s blogs about what a great composition they’ve created… because I know instinctively when it’s right, but can’t put it into words. I just started taking a composition and picture making class (did the homework tonight) so soon I’ll have a little more understanding.


  9. Silvina, I wonder if you’re taking the class with Nathan Fowkes at the LAFA. Thanks for your encouragement.

    I’m really enjoying your “Ralph” series.


  10. No, I’m not taking the class taught by Nathan, though he is an excellent instructor and artist. I’m taking Composition and Picture Making with Douglas Kirk. It’s 10 weeks long. Nathan’s is probably a short workshop.


  11. I like your courage, faith in your own vision on this one. I, too have struggled with that composition “problem”, and my conclusion is that all the analytical skills in the world will avail you nothing without the intuition of how to use it. Do it your way. That’s what we need.

    By the way, I like this painting. I’d hang it on my wall.


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