The Bay Area Painters


I have always had a place in my heart for Northern California. I love the light, the wine, the food, the family and friends I have there and I love its painters. Perhaps that is why I enjoy living in my neighbourhood of Bankview so much. It reminds me of San Francisco, with it's steep hills and deep valleys, and we get some of that same Northern light.  It is a diverse area; "in transition" our Alderman says. Like any inner city neighbourhood, it has some issues, but that is all part of what I love--its density and diversity. And I love how, when you get high enough the sky becomes an empty band of colour against the crowd of buildings below. I do wish it has California's weather, but that is for another post....




So I have begun the ViewpointYYC series and my first choice is a painting of Bankview, since it has some of my most favourite views. I am looking for inspiration at some of my favourite Bay Area artists who were so influenced and inspired by the work of each other. Their is something about Northern California that breeds painters. I especially love the 1950's/60's work of the Bay Area Figurative Painters or Expressionists as they were sometimes called: the big three--Richard Diebenkorn, David Park and Paul Wonner.  They all oscillate between abstraction and representation and I think walking this tightrope is what makes their work so vibrant and is what resonates with me. The wet application of paint, the quick painterly action, the delineated shapes, the shadowed figures and the vibrant, but cohesive colour are all things that I strive for, but have yet to completely achive. Maybe this series will be it.....? In the meantime, here are some beauties for you to ponder...











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