Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sightseeing in 3-D

Acrylic on gessoed birch panel, 12 x 12"
painting # 231, 2015

Part of my creative process in choosing subject matter for a painting has to do with the intent and the narrative. While I am not the first to use a View-Master as a prop, several artists whose work I admire certainly ignited the idea that this toy might be an interesting object worth consideration if only I can create something visually unique in content and composition. These artists would include James Hollingsworth, Otto Lange, Kelly Grace and Carl Janes.  (click on names to view)

With the opportunity of on-line shopping, comes the possibility of acquiring great finds without ever having to leave your home. This View Master is a model G produced from 1959-1977. It was purchased from a seller on Etsy living in Montana, while the three sets of travel picture reels were purchased individually on eBay from a seller living in the U.K. The whole narrative came to me while browsing and connecting the dots.

I did not have a View-Master as a child, but several kids in my neighbourhood did. Most of the reels they owned were cartoon serials from Disney, Hanna-Barbera or Warner Bros. However, I do distinctly remember viewing several travel reels. The ones that come to mind were of Disneyland and Expo '67 held in Montreal. In retrospect it would be interesting to know if viewing these fascinating stereo pictures did contribute somehow to my love of travelling and later visiting all these places in real life because the three dimensional effect does give the feeling of being there and longing to visit them one day.

In this lot are reels of Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and New York City. The images are from the 1950's and early 1970's. We visited Niagara Falls during the last week of March in 1998 while on a road trip to Hamilton Ontario during my running days when I ran the "Around the Bay 30K". The most impressive thing about the falls was the shear force of the water. 

We visited Grand Canyon during the last week of February 2009 on a road trip of Arizona, Nevada and southern Utah. Here, the vastness of the ravine is mind boggling. There was still a bit of snow which added to the magic of this mystical place. It was the last week before the shuttle service kicked in, so we could drive at will to discover this amazing national park. 


And finally New York City, one of my favourite places to visit. We've visited the Big Apple four time so far. The first two were in line with the New York City Marathon which I ran in 1994 and 2002, then later as tourists in 2010 and 2013. Sightseeing, great art, Broadway plays and the famous skyline are the main attractions. I always find it a surreal experience to be there. This year, we will be spending Christmas with some family members joining us. On Christmas evening we have tickets for the "Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular" featuring "The Rockettes". I did the photo study for this painting before I even booked the airline tickets. The NYC reel featured in the painting was just randomly added. Call it faith or coincidence that "The Rockettes, Radio City Music Hall" would appear in this disc.






Painting was exhibited in 
''The Still Life'' Invitational Group Show at the Elliott Fouts Gallery, in Sacramento, CA.
 Sept. 5 - Oct. 1, 2015.

Status- available 

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