Slow-moving in New Orleans

Ready-made Victims in Search of the Palace of Pleasure
“Ready-made Victims in Search of the Palace of Pleasure” (late stage)

After weeks of minimal painting activity (during which I welcomed the birth of a son and experienced a busy Christmas season), my New Orleans-inspired canvas is nearing completion.  I have entitled it “Ready-made Victims in Search of the Palace of Pleasure”, based on a couple of phrases from Eudora Welty’s short story “The Purple Hat”, which is a ghost story set in New Orleans.  Using highly economical means, she captures a certain essence, a kind of fascinating seediness, associated with the city.  I would like to do the same with this painting.  It’s not about the supernatural, specifically, but I do hope a sense of the mystery of the place is portrayed, through the use of such devices as darkened doorways, imposing buildings, and unnatural juxtapositions of color.

2 comments on “Slow-moving in New Orleans

  1. ok… Ive spent some time with your painting. On the technical…….nice shadow transitions on red wall qaudrant upper left…dont know how youre pulling that off with acrylic! Nice architectural study…

    upper right hand quadrant where the porch (?) curves around and almost touches the end of the yellow flag pole needs to be smoothed out…too sharp a turn, my eye gets caught on it like a sweater gets pulled on some stray nail in the door jamb….

    now I know you love those color contrasts…lol…each pair is represented… but I’d try and pick less color to work with. Im thinking take a look at Lautrec…moulin rouge type paintings….even some (gasp) degas stage ones….theatrics,,,window shopping is about theatrics…ok…this is about seduction right, product seduction…..I’m emailing you some seductive product placement and window displays….I need to see more in the windows to get the idea of the visual pull…youve painted them so quiet and calm its not computing yet….more mystery more shadows….higher contrast on the lights and darks to communicate the garishness of it all… the sky is working…theres mystery there

    • Thanks for the critique. As I’m sure you know, acrylics require much patience to achieve certain effects. Thanks for noticing those shadow transitions (as you called them). It’s funny you pointed out the contrasts…some of them, I wasn’t even conscious they were happening, but after reading your comments I looked and there they were. Your comment about window shopping was interesting, too. I’m not sure it’s about that, specifically, but it could be a worthwhile subtext. It’s funny how painting has a way of communicating our subconscious ideas.

      I will look to Lautrec and Degas with special attention to color schemes. I have always admired Lautrec (what Post-Impressionist have I not admired!) and wanted to be influenced by him but have never felt successful with it.

      Thanks for noticing mystery in the sky. It’s not a complicated patch of color, but I really went after it.

      I enjoyed your comments. Thanks, Jess!

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