L.A. Painting: Night Fall, Los Angeles June 20, 2011

The Moon is up on high.

Dawning our headlamps and book lights, C. Burt, Erdy, and I begin to paint: clueless of what lurks below us. These are considered some of the most dangerous landscapes, in Southern California. It is an Urban Jungle.

(See the 1991 movie by Lawrence Kasdan, "Grand Canyon." with Steve Martin, Kevin Klein and Danny Glover).

The sounds of the city clutter the air, sparking my imagination. I wonder what's going on down there behind that window, in that alleyway, behind that door? What was that sound? Was that a gun shot? Sheeit!!! Then the police, firetrucks, and ambulances rush by. We can see them from our perch.

For me, painting this motif reminds me of the Ashcan school Artist's such as John Sloan, and George Wesley Bellows. The urban nocturnes they painted looked sooty, and gritty due to the immense amount of air pollution emitted into the air from unabated burning coal fires of that day.

Sloan and Bellows painted at the height of the Industrial Revolution; when Americans built great things with aesthetics in mind, such as sky-scrapers with beautiful cornices, (Like the one we were standing on for this night's painting). Their paintings often depicted the True Grit of American Culture; when men were men. Michael Savage

Gone are those days when the chrome was hard and women were straight. (Thank you Michael Savage). Looking out at night over Skidrow and South Central L.A. one can still envision the haze, and mystery lurks in every shadow.

L.A. Night Haze. Photo: T. Van Stein