August at Rothko Cafe


Well-known member
Materials: 20 x 24 inch gessoed gallery wrap canvas from Michael's coated with watercolor absorbent ground. Oil and ink.

There were a lot firsts with this painting. First time painting on canvas this large. First time using absorbent ground on canvas, and using ink pouring with oil paint. First time using a tiny led projector, and first time sketching on a tablet with Artrage, then taking photos as it progressed and using the photo painting app to try out ideas before committing paint to canvas. First time borrowing so many "items" from other artists. And first time having a clear intention to do magic realism, inspired by Arty mentioning the Blue Rider Group(thanks Ayin!)and looking at all my saved favorites on WikiArt, which also includes the Blue Rider Group. And also continuing on in the general direction I have been going, which is magic realism, but maybe with less of the creepy dark stuff of much magic realism. Something that looks nice and has a story or mystery or two in it.

So, anyhow, the painting. from left to right we have the Rothko Cafe, which just sort of spontaneously formed. I was painting and it was, oh I'm sort of doing a Rotho I guess I'll go with it. In the cafe we have an August Macke couple. I wonder how that marriage is going.

Moving to the right we have "my town" I live somewhere in that galaxy there. Great view.

In the stream is a dancer from an Olaf Arnolds/Bonobo music video. Yes she really bends that way. I gave her a bright orange orb to hold, that may just be a beachball, not the sun which would be impossible and would be treading in surrealistic waters away from magic realism. Can't have that.

The "cypress" tree and the grasses in front was a frustrating attempt to copy Van Gogh. With each brush stroke I was like nope nope arrrghhh how did he do it! Still have all my ear though at least. But it was getting close. Now I know why he did it. I added a bird to the tree and some flowers to the grasses. The bird might be too subtle to see.

The woman on the porch is from Paul Serusier's "The Fairy and the Night". 1912. The Fairy and the Knight’ was created in 1912 by Paul Serusier in Synthetism style. Serusier was of the Les Nabis school. He is credited with being one of the first in abstraction with his painting "Les Talisman".

I may touch some things up. The paint is still wet. I look forward to varnishing when I expect the water, which is in ink, will gain contrast and saturation as it's rather dry now.

Thanks for looking. Critiques gladly considered.

This is impressive, John! It’s so cool how you wove all of the separate stories into one cohesive piece. I don’t know a thing about magic realism so I’m looking forward to seeing more of this style.
I don't get it but I am still stuck in the eighteen hundreds. Very good depth of field and lots of interesting artifacts along the look.
WOW! I love it! I love everything about it. You didn't need to tell me all the significance because it stands on its own, but it's fine because we're all artists here. I am so into how you did the foreground grass that I feel like screaming like a giddy child!!!! It's OUTSTANDING!

What's the size?

Okay, this painting doesn't look like any of his work, but you might like Peter Doig. I think he's from Denmark or maybe he's Scottish? Your palette reminds me of him. I do not know what you would call his style, though. I have a friend that loves his work, and her work is a little bit like his. Her name is Trine Churchill, and she is from Denmark. You may like her work too.

You have really come into your own style John. Can I say I'm proud of you without sounding like a douchebag? I hope not. I'm impressed with you and am just loving your output. ❤️

Keep taking those risks! :)