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Less Is More

833 at 833, oil on canvas, 14 x 11"

I have been feeling lately that my palette for oil paintings has been growing beyond what I would like. I have found myself using very specific colors to the point where I’ve been  doing less and less mixing. I decided to paint this piece using a palette limited to only four colors– titanium white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, and ultramarine blue. Imposing such a strict limitation forced me to really think hard about how to mix the colors I needed to capture the morning light in this Center City Philadelphia scene.

This was painted (or at least started; there was a fair amount of follow-up studio work) early one Sunday morning last month at the corner of 9th and Chestnut Streets. The clock hangs on the corner of 833 Chestnut Street, a building that was originally the annex to the now-demolished Gimbels department store. Many thanks to the very kind waitress at High Street Restaurant in front of which I was standing. She was watching me from the window as they were setting up for brunch, and ran out with a complimentary coffee and pastry. Thank you for contributing to the arts!

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