Monday, 15 October 2012

Sandra Walker RI

Crossing Delancy - Watercolour

Although I live in what is often referred to as a "leafy suburb", my heart is in the city - any city - but New York City has always taken precedence. 
My choice of painting subjects has always been the urban landscape - in particular the deserted, sometimes forgotten, urban landscapes of the Lower East Side of New York City, where we can thank the immigrant culture for weaving
their own piece of architecture into our lives, i.e., the fire escape.
Pictured is my painting "Crossing Delancey" which encapsulates all the qualities which I find so intriguing in this particular subject matter.

 Quaker Oats - Watercolour

Another subject which I have always been drawn to in the city is what are called "ghost signs". These fading ads evoke memories of an important era of American history - that of the Great Depression. Amazingly many of them, which can be found throughout America, refused to succumb to the forces of time, weather, fashion and urban planning. During the Depression years itinerant sign painters, called "wall dogs", travelled the country, emblazoning sides of barns
and other structures with these hand-painted signs, such as "Quaker Oats", which I found in Washington, D.C. (now, sadly, painted over).

 Delhi Wheels - Watercolour

I have long been an admirer of the American artist Charles Sheeler - one of the first painters to embrace the iconography of the machine. He was a great painter of early steam trains - and when I saw these wheels there was no hesitation - I had to paint them!
I feel that most of my work - architectural ruins, so-called "urban decay" and fading ads - give a dignity to these subjects and unearth their hidden beauty.
Images and text © Sandra Walker 2012