Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boston Common Fountain & State House

"Summer on the Boston Common" (Oil on Canvas, 24"X18", $750)

This past summer I was so happy to see that the city had finally fixed the main fountain on the Boston Common that I had to make a painting. It had to show the sculptures and the height of the fountain. The sculptures are full of symbolism, telling about the businesses, the trades and the way of life that was prevalent at the time they were made. Lots of elements show farming and sailing/shipping tools, combined with classic Greek figures. I guess it was a way to marry the past with the modern 'present' which has since slipped into the past; no one in Boston's concentrating and farming and sailing anymore.
I like the pattern of the falling water and the way the fountain seems to lean over a little, which adds to the feeling of soaring vertigo as it reaches its apex. I'm sure the workmen were a little surprised to see how the fountain actually functioned when they finally got the plumbing sorted out after being broken for so many decades.
I took the opportunity to combine a giant tree in the background with the giant fountain. I tried to lose bits of the fountain's outline in the tree's shadows and marry the two elements. At the back of the painting, however, I removed a giant tree from the scene that was covering up the State House; I wanted to show the architecture that led up to the golden dome. The State House adds some perspective and scale to the scene, showing that the Common goes all the way back and up to Beacon Hill, the seat of government in Massachusetts.
This scene could be from a hundred years ago, except for the clothes on the various people standing and sitting around, admiring the falling water and relaxing in the morning.

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