The Urban Environment –
This painting by Camilla Dowse was painted using acrylic paint on gessoed paper, unsure as to when exactly this piece was painted, I am confident in saying that it is relatively new, I am particularly fond of this piece of work due to its subtle nature, low contrast, cool colour and the rainy-day, melancholy morning feeling, for me personally, this painting delivers a bitter-sweet sadness, invokes a level of mystery and is perfectly contrasted by the brighter, jollier yellow tones on the upper parts of the buildings and the deceptively bright sky, fading to a meek grey as your eyes scan upwards.
Camilla Dowse began her journey as a graphic designer, before managing to leave her career as a picture editor and take up painting full-time. Present day she paints urban landscapes, her paintings make successful attempts to inspire us to look above and beyond and perhaps even for a deeper meaning in what is normal in every-day life and it is for exactly this reason that she removes distractions such as vehicles and pedestrians to allow the charm of the urban environment to shine through.
Capturing King’s Road, Brighton, I feel as though the artist had a full understanding of perspective and a keen eye for colour. I wonder what inspired her to pick this precise street at this angle. I get the impression that it would look brilliant hung up in a local pub, cafe or similar venue, especially as time passes and the street changes over time.
With the use of one-point perspective, I can’t help but be drawn to the centre of the image and despite the road, pavement and buildings on the peripherals, I am drawn towards the idea of the beach and the sea beyond. Each building perfectly formed with a consistent style across the board with just enough detail so that you can imagine being stood exactly where the artist made her notes, but leaving enough to the imagination that you can envision anything you would like.
Putting all that aside for just a moment, the most striking thing about the painting is how quiet and serene it is, this is an ordinary side-street in Brighton, England, the kind of street you might go down every day on the way to work, how many people notice how alluring it is?
In conclusion, I believe this is a successful piece of work mainly due to the composition, everything just fits, from the colour to the subtle changes in light, the distinction between the sharp lines to form the edges of the building to the controlled splashes of paint to form the road and the rain sat on top of it. A breathtaking work for those who consider themselves pluviophiles.
A much more well known painting is this palette knife oil painting created by Leonid Afremov, belonging to the Modern Impressionism movement, “Bewitched Park”. Again, I am unsure as to when this was painted but I do know that this is a recreation of an older work.
“Leonid Afremov® (born 12 July 1955 in Vitebsk, Belarus) is a Russian–Israeli modern impressionistic artist who works mainly with a palette knife and oils. He developed his own unique technique and style which is unmistakable and cannot be confused with other artists. Afremov is mainly known as being a self-representing artist who promotes and sells his work exclusively over the internet with very little exhibitions and involvement of dealers and galleries.”
Many people dread Autumn as it is the page before the biting frost but left undeterred, Autumn is the most radiant and luminous time of year, also known as fall as the leaves drift to the ground in stunning red, orange and yellow tones. I believe Autumn casts a particular mood on people, whether it be a dull, depressing mood, or an enchanting hypnosis. The reason I chose this particular painting is because I believe that it casts the very same mood and the only variable is the person viewing it. Therefore, I conclude that this painting perfectly portrays the precise time of year.
This work I noticed is a considerable measure lower in saturation to that of similar creations which is yet another reason I was drawn to it. Many works like this have very fabulous and vibrant colours, often a very long stride from that of its real life companion, these paintings are beautiful but yet I feel they do not capture the same pensive emotion. The utmost conspicuous component for me is the way that the rainy foreground reflects the glare of the street lamps and the sturdy tree trunks.
One more compelling aspect to this piece is the mark making. Despite being so blotched and smudgy, your eyes turn the image into a complete sentence very quickly. This is because all of the values and textures very quickly portray the image to you and you can view and understand it as though it is in a real-life setting.
Even though the intensity is diminished contrasted against similar works, there is still a great deal of distinction between Bewitched Park and King’s Road. An important thing to note is that while they may both depict the same time of year and even evoke similar sentiments, they are portrayed at different times of day. They are akin as they both are mysterious in essence and both have very melancholy tones. However, to my eyes, the largest discrepancy lies within the character wandering down the pathway and not the colour palette.
In final conclusion, both of these works are expertly made by artisans, they should inspire those who perhaps had never even considered painting before because these aren’t simple paintings, they are atmosphere and emotion.
Camilla Dowse – King’s Road, Brighton
Leonid Afremov – Bewitched Park