Kate Kern Mundie, Dawn (Looking West),
oil on masonite, 24 x 28 inches, 2011
I have done several paintings of the view looking west over Center City, Philadelphia. I have attempted to paint this particular view several times. I struggled with the composition. I never liked the white building in the center of this painting. I kept trying to do compositions that were to the left or right of the building so I could avoid painting it. The style of the building bothered me.
I was messing around with the composition once again when Jim came into the studio. He suggested just putting it in and get over my aversion to the architecture. Jim also suggested doing the painting as a warm-cool study with a limited palette. This color restriction would keep me focused on values and major structures, thus keeping me from getting caught up in the details in the lower right of the painting -- which had been another problem for me. I followed his suggestions and I am happy with the way it all came together. I used an extended limited palette of titanium white, ultramarine blue, yellow ochre light, burnt sienna and vermillion.