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Life in the Suburbs

Life in the Suburbs. Leonard Koscianski, 42″x26″, oil on canvas, 2019.

Life in the Suburbs is a medium size painting in oils on canvas.  This view of a suburban backyard uses a surreal, forced perspective that goes from a tiny cardinal in the lower left to the distant moon and clouds.  This blend of Surrealism and Realism is influenced by the American Scene painters of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s.  George Tooker and Grant Wood come to mind.

We can peak inside the house and see a woman reading to a child, and an artist(?) peering out. We look down on the yard and beyond to a Yoga class, a cyclist, and a sailboat.  The warm terra cotta of the bricks, and garden soil contrast with the bright green of the grass, and the blue of the water.  A dog, up against the fence, barks at a passing USPS truck.

To create the glowing color of the garden earth, a textured white was first applied to the canvas, then when the white was dry, the burnt oranges were glazed over top of the white under painting. This creates a more luminous color than is possible with a single layer of paint. A similar technique was used to create a wood texture for the fence.