Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Russell Baker, Minnesota Conversation Pit - Oil on 16 X 20 Stretched Canvas

A little closer look

I decided to paint another “Fall Colors” painting more than a month ago and got well on my way when I got an email from an old friend advising me of the passing of another old friend from the 1970s. At that time he and his family lived in Nassau county NY, out on long island. A group of us from a territory management meeting in NYC were invited to their home for an evening of cocktails and dinner. While there I remember sitting in a sunken area of the living area called the “conversation pit”; three steps down to an area of couches, pillows, drinks and good conversation. We all enjoyed a wonderful evening before returning to mid-town Manhattan and more specifically, Craw-daddy’s pub at the Roosevelt for another cocktail or two. We always stayed at the Roosevelt while in New York because of its proximity to the diamond district.
After giving some thought to that evening I decided to put a Minnesota type “Conversation Pit” into the “Fall Colors” painting I’ve been working on here at the house. Since I had already gotten pretty far into the painting, how to do it was the problem; luckily I hadn’t yet done much on the mid or lower sections of the canvas. I had seen something similar to this Adirondack chair arrangement in a photo recently so decided to use that idea and just stuck it in the mid area and put a little light on it. I think it fits nice into the painting and also sort of depicts the laid back relaxing lifestyle of Northern Minnesota living where most people sit face to face and talk to each other rather than use some sort of electronic aid; that is at least in the summer and colorful splendor of fall; winter is something else. I call this one “Minnesota Conversation Pit”. Next I’m going to try a winter landscape, at least that’s the plan.  Your comments are welcome.

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