Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Walk in the Park

Me and my shadows, a mural of Central Park, studio view.

A Walk in the Park

I flew round trip LA to NYC recently and watched on the plane:  Arrival, yet another Amy Adams movie. Trippy. The movie was trippy. I guess my trip was trippy by default and like the story told in the movie I experienced time in something other than a strictly linear manner. It’s Spring as I write this. The seasons turned to Spring while I was in NY but it was a wintry Spring, mostly.

My photo collages for the mural composition. Gallery, top and stairwell bottom

The paper model I made to keep everything straight in my head and on the canvases.

Last winter I completed a mural for an apartment on Central Park South. The subject matter is contextual, it’s the Park. The mural consists of eight panels that line the entry gallery and stairwell. The compositions are the direct result of a walk in the park lead by a knowledgeable guide from the Central Park Conservancy. I had a certain criterion for the trek. I needed a number of views across water to get enough panoramic width to satisfy the area I had to cover. Then I needed height for the stairwell itself and came up with a grotto motif for under the stairs. If you know Central Park you can pick out specific identifiers in the mural that are unmistakable and this was another directive to satisfy.

First view upon entering, the Lake in front of Bethesda Terrace.

Above:Entering, turning to one's right and seeing all gallery panels of the mural.

Above: ascending the stairs up to the 21st floor level.

This apartment on the Park is not ostentatious, really. The area of the mural is relatively intimate so it was decided the painting should be sophisticated, urbane, yet low key. The palette is grisaille but actually consists of color washes created from three distinct hues, a warm, a cool, and a neutral. The value range is so narrow that at times the composition seems to vaporize before your eyes much like the space craft in Arrival. Have I come to the realization that it’s more important knowing what to leave out of a painting? What do you think? Is there anything there, really?

The distinctive green roof makes the apartment building easy to spot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Watts Happening!

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper 

Streets so steep you pray your brakes (or your knees), won’t fail but most of Los Angeles is a big flat basin. This makes for a big sky. Famously we have all sorts of palm trees, ridiculous enough in and of themselves but in fact there are endless whimsical and absurd forms to see silhouetted against our technicolor sunsets. When I first moved here I was so taken with shapes against the sky that this became the subject of my painting for years. 

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

scott waterman ink watercolor gouache paper

After visiting numerous times then living in L.A. for close to fourteen years I finally made it to Watts Towers the last day of 2016. If I was disappointed it was only because to visit inside the walled complex you must take a guided tour of about an hour’s duration and that was just not enough time for me. This crazy fabrication is fantastic even against a grey wintery sky. 

Want more?

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Book Report 2

Amelia Handegan Rooms, arrived in a gift box.

It has recently come to my attention that I am published, again.  Look, it’s a selection of my painted commissions for your perusal in not one but two more Rizzoli publications. I say two more because I was first published by Rizzoli in the late 80s. However, this is now and Windsor Smith and Amelia Handegan both got book deals for 2016 and I am there and you are here and we are all together. So let’s take a look shall we?

The cover shows her own place.

The chapter heading for Birdsong reproduces my sketch.

This is my sketched, reversed and off color in the book,

A spread from Rooms showing  a part of my mural.

Birdsong, the house and its hallway covered in my mural.

Also seen in Rooms this painting I copied from an anonymous 19th c work.

I’ve probably done enough work for Amelia since 1988 to warrant a book unto itself but Amelia Handegan Rooms is about her work, beautiful work. I’ve done a number of large scale murals for her interiors and it’s always kind of thrill just to be able to make a painting so large, forty feet wide for instance and that was just one panel out of four. In "Rooms" you see glimpses of that mural project, (for a house called Birdsong);  a sliver of painted panels I did for Amelia’s own foyer; and a copy I made of a 19th c. hand painted wallpaper for one of her clients .

The cover of Windsor's book hints at my silver leaf painting inside.

The top photo is from the book, the other two are mine.
Clearly the colors change significantly based on what the silver reflects.

Fyi the drawing for the wall painting seen above.

Another page from Windsor's book, same room, opposite end.

The Windsor Smith book, Windsor Smith Homefront Design for Modern Living, came out earlier in the year. There’s just one project of mine in the book, I’ve only done one project for Windsor but it’s a doozy and it ended up in Architectural Digest. It’s another unique opportunity for me, painting on silver, and painting an entire room in Chinoiserie. Oh and there’s a perverse thrill in hanging with a Picasso, rather a Picasso hangs on top of my painting.

What’s next? Tell me.

That's me standing before a stretched canvas for my current project.


Do you want to see my other book report? Follow this link- My first book report.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Those blog posts, Pinterest accounts, Tumblr sites, and the like that present a random selection of images without credit, caption, or context they’re a bit of bĂȘte noire for me. I like to know what I’m looking at and especially if I like it where I can find more and more about it. So is that what I’m doing? Not quite. All the images are mine; seen with my own eyes in cities and places I’ve recently traveled to including Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, and the eastern shore of Maryland. Enjoy the images and know that I’ll be happy to tell where they came from and anything else that might help. Just ask.

In the meantime I’m working on something big, relatively big, rather big actually so stay close.

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