Ted Gordon 2015 Michigan Cottage House Portrait
Ted Gordon patio watercolor
Ted Gordon Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Oak Park IL Plein Air Water color Painting 2014 WIP04
I've toured Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Studio, living nearby, but this is the first time I spent the morning studying one view. The weather was good and for most of the early morning, the street was a quiet place to observe the shapes and contrasts.
Ted Gordon Rooftop Skokie IL Plein Air Water color Painting 2014 WIP01
I went onto the rooftop to do plein air, where I found this view of ventilation ducts, a huge water tank, and trees.
Reflecting on the Land in the City
Columbus Park in Chicago is a National Historic Landmark, designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen.
On this summer morning, I found a spot between the Refectory and the Columbus Park Lagoon where the sun was hitting the stones and the water in a dramatic, high contrast way that convinced me to set my easel up right there to paint it. It was quiet and still, half of the visitors being the robins that come and hop around in the scene, so I made sure to include one of them too.
Parisian Summer Night At Poor Phil's And The Carleton
Having planned to paint this popular, well-decorated corner in Oak Park at night, I chose my composition days ahead, while also checking to see what available light there would be. I energized myself with a late coffee with dinner and painted a small color study before painting this, first in a few layers of watercolor, and then going on top with gouache. The gouache allowed me to get the night-time darkness against the warmly-lit interior. The last thing I added were the lights, in opaque white gouache. The weather was beautiful and the bar and restaurant very busy. While painting there were the changing sounds from the dinner crowd to the late-night bar crowd getting into taxis to go home. I wrapped up at midnight, jazzed from caffeine and painting.
Poor Phils Summer Morning
I painted this plein air watercolor of Poor Phils on the corner of Marion and Pleasant in Oak Park, IL on a summer morning in 2015. The weather was beautiful. The streets were empty at first, but soon the breakfast crowd arrived.
Guarding The Garden
Looking to capture the history of the oldest elementary school in my village, my attention was instead grabbed by this brightly-painted scarecrow in the garden. I painted this plein air watercolor in front of Beye School in Oak Park, IL on a summer morning in 2015. It had rained the night before and the garden was both lush and full of mosquitoes! I thought I would be in shade the whole time, but toward lunch the sun was strong hit the edge of the robot - who I've learned was named Herbie Hancock.
Movie Night In The Village
I set up across the street from the theater on a busy Friday night. The blue-green light cast against the front of the building was stunning and I liked the overall high-contrast of the scene. I started with thin layers of translucent watercolor, then quickly moved into opaque gouache.
I have decades of memories of this theater, now I have another, of an evening spent studying the lights on the building, hearing the theater crowds and a small group of older guys relaxing and chatting at the tables nearby until they shut down the restaurant. I worked late into the night, the huge LAKE letters were shut off, and a girl from the theater's booth came out to say hello before I packed my paints and went home.
Plein air paintings made in the traditional way - entirely outside, on location, capturing a specific time and place.