The Painter's Workshop: New Works and Works in Progress

The paintings on this page represent works-in-progress and new works. They are presented with various state photographs, sometimes with accompanying work product and sketches.

Plaza Guemes

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Plaza Guemes, Buenos Aires, oil on canvas, 76 x 96 inches, work in progress, copyright ©2014

"Plaza Guemes, Buenos Aires" is a large painting based on a much smaller study that I did when visiting Argentina in 2008. Plaza Guemes is a public square in the Palermo Viejo district, not far from where I was staying in Buenos Aires. It is surrounded by fine restaurants, open air cafés, galleries, luxury high-rises, a few examples of old Spanish architecture, Internet cafés and on the west end the beautiful old church Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. I spent a few weeks painting in the plaza, taking morning coffee at Café Pinot. While I painted I was surrounded by crowds of people, many of them students from the parochial school on the other side of the church.

As I worked on the study, some people from the nearby condominiums would sit on the benches in front of me, in hopes that they would be included in my painting. One of these willing models was a Policia Federal, who did not make it into the study, but will be included in the large version. In the foreground is a pile of teenagers, lying on the pavement and enjoying the sun. On the benches are an old man that had posed for the study, a woman weeping, an art student from the nearby school, a woman resting with her dog, a street urchin tying his shoe, and others. On the far right is a young man, probably a student, that earns his living by walking dogs in the neighborhood. There are children playing in the playground in the background, and many other citizens engaging in leisurely social display. All of this is enveloped by the stately jacaranda and plane trees.

The large painting began with the study and an elaborate photomontage. I drew the cartoon rapidly, squared up from the montage, without spending a lot of time on detail. The lay-in was begun at the top, simply because of the logistics of working a painting this size; the canvas sits on the floor so that I can reach that portion. Once I have the lay-in far enough along on the upper half, I'll set the canvas on the easel and work the lower half.

More images of this work will be posted as it progresses.
Scale 
Here is an image taken alongside my skeleton "Bonaparte," to give a sense of scale:
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Bonaparte with work in progress.
Study 
The study, painted in Buenos Aires, 2008.
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Plaza Guemes Study, oil on canvas, 23 x 31 inches, © 2008
Palette 
My palette for the lay-in phase.
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My standard palette: french ultramarine, cerulean blue, viridian, alizarin, burnt umber, burnt sienna, venetian red, cadmium red medium, cadmium orange, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium lemon, titanium white.
Montage 
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My Apple display, where I can zoom in and out on the montage and other photo references for Plaza Guemes, Buenos Aires.
Work Product 
Additional montages and other work product.
These images represent alternate groupings and poses. There is a somewhat random quality to the interaction of people in a public square, as well as a deeper dance with fate. After all, this is where love is found!
Google Earth 
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Here is a Plaza Guemes screen-capture from Google Earth. I've included Google Earth coordinates in a kmz file.
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William E. Elston

aritst/owner: w. e. elston fine arts
William E. Elston is a professional artist and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. He has exhibited for over 40 years, and has works in numerous public and private collections.

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William E. Elston

aritst/owner: w. e. elston fine arts
William E. Elston is a professional artist and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. He has exhibited for over 40 years, and has works in numerous public and private collections.