The only painting from our recent trip through tiny eastern Oregon towns that doesn’t need reworked is the Ione Grain Elevator. It feels almost complete to me, like a plein air watercolor.
Ione Grain Elevator, 12 x 16, oil on board
I keep working on the other paintings. I’ve added staffage to the Crossroads (Carnagie) Art Center in Baker City, as well as toning down a bit of black that seemed obtrusive:
Here’s the original after its first studio reworking:
And here’s the revision:
The figures will be more delineated, but they are at least sketched in with the brush.
Adding figures becomes an philosophical question for me. Do I keep the absence of figures that most of the original drafts show? Do I include a Hopper-esque single isolated figure? or do I opt for communal, community groups? I am taking it case by case — the grain elevator has been long deserted, and Ione was tiny and quiet except for grain trucks. But Baker City was more populated; a couple of people stopped to chat up the painter. Besides, I like the idea that this old library-cum-art-center has kids keeping it lively. So the grain elevator is devoid of human life, but the art center features skate boarders. –June