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Artist research into Tom Blacwell's 'Hudson river landscape'

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Tom Blackwell: Hudson River Landscape 1984 Oil on canvas First impressions: At first sight I notice the cold feel of the painting, and I see a car beside a wall with graffiti on it. There is pond with a still reflection on it beside the car. This painting makes me think about the slums of a city - the dumps. There is some sort of cloth like material protruding from the windscreen of the car which I find quite strange. 5 words I would use to describe this painting would be; cold, lucid, observational, run-down and urban. Basic elements: The colours used in this painting are quite cold. There is a strong blue glaze over the painting suggesting it's set either around dawn or dusk. The colours are quite dark yet not dull. Blackwell brings out the light in the reflection in the pond beside the run down car. The colours are very much realistic; however they give an almost surreal effect, because of the reflection in the pond and the 'twilight feel to the painting'. Tonal shading is quite an important aspect of this painting, as different hues of blue have been used to bring out certain parts of the painting while other darker tones have been used to bring back parts of the paintings into the shadows. ...read more.


It seems like the scene has been captured at dawn where most people are still asleep and the streets are quiet and so in this sense, Blackwell emphasises the feeling of serenity that suffuses this painting. Blackwell challenges our view of the busy modern world in which we live in by capturing this typical urban, yet rather calm tranquil like scene. Materials and techniques: Oil on linen was used to paint this image, with what seems to be quite a precise technique, to create the stillness of the scene. Composition: This work seems to be quite carefully planned as it isn't just a random depiction of an urban scene, but its overall aura contributes into conveying a deeper message; the stillness, with its lack of human presence and precise painting technique and the time of day that this painting depicts all contribute into conveying its tranquil twig light setting.. In the foreground of the painting, the run down car is visible, and this is the main dominating object within the painting, towards the background, we see the silhouetted trees that help to bring out the car within the foreground. ...read more.


What's different between this piece of work and my work is that I want encompass the city as a whole - not just part of it as Blackwell does within this painting (and his other paintings which are subject specific, for example his paintings of motorcycles, or the shop fronts). Evaluation: I think Blackwell would be pleased about this piece of work; although it doesn't seem to fit in with the other themes Blackwell has focused on (such as the shop fronts and motorcycles), this painting still depicts an urban scene very well. I like the calm serenity that suffuses the painting created by the lack of human presence and the deep blue hue that glazes the painting and. I also like the fact that the painting seems to have so much, yet seem so simple; Blackwell intended to depict an urban scene so that it includes the run down car and the run down wall with cracks and graffiti on it, which creates a sense of realism that I find quite appealing. If I could ask Blackwell a question, I would ask him what inspired to paint this painting, as all his other paintings are quite subject specific in that they focus primarily on things like motor cycles or shop fronts for example. ...read more.

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