Doreen Cutting

Featured Artist:

Rita Argen Auerbach

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Viewing the grain elevators from the long-forgotten Vandalia Street remind me that this view of Buffalo together with the area just across the Ohio Street Bridge and the Harbor are my favorite living canvases… especially on a sunny day when strong cool shadows force the whiteness of the cylinders into high relief. In the “hardhat” zone, on Childs Street, the immediacy of these elevators exhausts my visual-tactile sensations. The scene bombards with rich textures, strong kinetic darks and brilliant blue sky patterns punctuated with the tension of crisscross wires and the constantly moving birds. The shapes of the elevators appear as enormous stoneware with flashes of solids and openness and the ever glimmering water reflect this “movie surround”… this living canvas”.

Now, I begin to translate… through a sharp rectangle of space I see the Oklahoma forcing the river water to foam trailing liquid images. I cannot capture its grace; I take quick reference photos for use later in my studio. Still focusing on what I am experiencing, I work directly on dry paper encouraging the color into pools of wetness, delineating with Japanese reed pen loaded with black ink, letting the occasional flooding complete the work. I use color with restraint preferring low-key palette for much of the composition – limited to blues, sienna, Van Dyke brown and always yellow ochre. I paint with a flat Windsor Newton lettering brush and whatever else is within reach. The moment of truth is now… I paint with reckless confidence – stepping aside and letting the painting come through – letting “whatever come that may” and hoping the painting will be a success.

View the artist's works on our September 2007 Exhibition page