I started a series of paintings early in the winter called Playhouse Square. Each painting in the series portrays the area around Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and the people going about their Square-related business.
I am amassing photographs for the project; I already have several hundred. I’ve taken photos in all weather and all light conditions. I took 150 yesterday. This is a photo I took last winter around the time I determined to start the series. It’s a little unusual because it contains several friends (central group). It also contains one of the Euclid Avenue bus kiosks with their distinctive sculptures. It amazes me how varied and interesting the sculptures are when seen in different light and from different angles.
When I started several large paintings (4′ x 5′) based on designs that incorporated some of these photos, I didn’t intend to start a series. But as I cut and pasted figures from the photographs, I realized how much easier it is to determine scale when the photos are taken from the same spot. Now I stand at the same spots and shoot, being careful to get photos with the light behind me, some with the light beside me, and some (not as many) facing the light. Northern cities have the most interesting light.
I’m very excited about the series. The Square is my studio filled with an infinite number of models. Parallel to this project, is another series using hired models for interiors. Some nudes and whatnot.
I haven’t shown the first two paintings from the series yet. I am reworking the drawings since I decided to make an explicit series.