“La Oscuridad”. Painted June 2022. 36”x24”. Acrylic on Canvas.
On both our visits to Buenos Aires, we were fortunate to rent an apartment on the top floor of a condo on Calle Ayacucho in the Recoleta neighbourhood. It had a large wrap-around deck that looked down on the street and out across the rooftops. During the day it was a busy street, with a steady stream of traffic both vehicular and pedestrian. But at dusk, the street took on a stillness, punctuated by the occasional car or person. It was as if the city took a collective breath….and held it.
Dusk is interesting in Buenos Aires. Because of the afternoon siestas, many people are still at the office at this time, so it’s common for most of the condos and apartments in the street to be dark around 6:00 PM. I was fascinated by how the darkening sky and the harsh fluorescent lighting transformed the colours of this little slice of the city. Shadows and shapes formed and only a few of the condos had any lights turned on which only added to the air of mystery.
From my 9th floor perspective, I looked down on the street from a bird’s eye view. However, towards the horizon and setting sun, I looked across a collection of roof tops. The last of the setting sun put the rooftops into a perfect silhouette. Shapes merged together and the array of antennas, wires and screens became a key part of this painting.
Since I’ve never painted a cityscape before (especially a night scene), this particular painting was a challenge. I really struggled with getting the right colours and values. It was also a lesson in only painting the slightest of suggestions, rather than every detail. Something, I need to spend a lot more time exploring.