Monday, September 26, 2011


Nancy Herman
8" x 6"
oil on canvas

Going along with the painting as narrative, this painting is actually quite a long story.  Although I am against the artist or anybody else telling people what paintings are 'about,' I will tell you what I think this one is about just as an example of what goes on in one painter's head when they are at work.

I was first drawn to the neon sign and the odd colors reflected on this old cobblestone street in Philadelphia.  I stopped to take a few pictures of it on my way to meet friends for dinner.


When I got home and began looking over what I had to work with, I realized the photos were much too big and complicated to do on such a small scale so I had to decide what the painting was to be about and how to compose some portion of the photos.  I wanted to include the bicycles because of the shapes and the environmental meaning of bicycles but no matter how I arranged the composition it just didn't make a story that I cared about.   Then I noticed one of the shots included my mate waiting impatiently on the other side of the street, and suddenly I knew what the painting was about and how to compose it.

The triangle that is created between the waiting person, the person he is looking at (me) and the neon sign is the composition.  It is perfect because that is the narrative of the painting.
There is always tension between wanting to be a part of the life around you and wanting to create art from that experience, and here is a picture of that conflict.  Art is an escape from and a refuge from life, but life is what art is about so you can't be taking pictures when you have friends to meet for dinner...or can you?

To purchase this painting
Click this link for Daily Paintworks auction