Cincinnati Riverfront

This is a commission that I was working on this spring and summer. It is a big 24″ X 36″ acrylic on a 1 1/2″ gallery wrapped canvas.

I originally started it several years ago thinking I would take it with me to Summerfair in Cincinnati. I was not able to get far enough before the show to be able to finish it so I set it aside. This past spring I started working on it again not sure exactly how I wanted to play it. I have done some Chicago waterfront scenes and all of those I chose to abstract quite a bit. The suggestion of the buildings were recognizable to be sure but I had a lot of fun wonking the colors and not worrying about detail.

Shortly after I began working again on my ‘Cincy’ piece, a friend of mine who lives in Cincy told me that he was moving his office to Blue Ash and that he would like to buy a painting. I offered him images of several of my completed abstracts and also the image of this piece, such as it was, at that time.

He immediately said that he wanted the Cincinnati Riverfront painting which meant that I had to go back to work in earnest. Soooo……….decision time. How to finish it. He had turned the process over to me to choose how the finished piece should look. I decided to go for the more realistic rendition.

This proved to be quite the challenge for me as I am not adept at architectural renderings. My painting style with acrylics is such that I almost tend to ‘sculpt’ a painting; i.e. I don’t sketch it out but rather start by blocking it in. Then I add layers. This painting was challenging enough because of its size and detail that I ended up painting part of it in only to realize that my scale wasn’t right. So I would paint over what I had done and measure the reference photo and then translate that to the big canvas and try again. After several months and untold hours I finally managed to create a painting that I was proud to deliver.

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