Last Chance, When We Last Met…Before…Even Now and (OL)

I decided that I wanted to spend the summer painting since it’s not something that I often do. I like to work on art that falls within specific, although sometimes undefined, contexts but sometimes I like to make these paintings that I consider to be more “poetic” in nature. These usually come from photographs that I’ve taken and decide that it would be a nice image to paint; not necessarily the best reason to make art but sometimes it’s an intuitive process deciding what to paint. Last Chance is a painting of a sky writer that I saw out my window sometime last fall. The pilot was doing a very bad job of writing the words and I never saw the complete phrase that they were trying to spell; I don’t think they ever completed it. The sky was a beautiful blue though, dark at the top and slightly yellow at the bottom. I like the fact that the smoke trail letters are drifting and skewed as they dissipate on the left and the letters on the right are tight and easily legible from being recently made. I also like that the phrase is not complete at the time of the photo.

I made the painting in the standard 24″x32″ size with canvas stretched over a panel and painted with oil. I consider this a one shot painting since I needed to paint it all at once before the paint dried in order to get the proper blending and effects of whispy smoke trails.

This is not the first sky writing painting that I’ve made. In 2006 I made When We Last Met…Before…Even Now which is actually a jet stream, and in 2007 made (OL) which was another sky writer that I had seen out my window back around 2001. The image stuck with me for many years until I finally painted it. That was another sky writer who never completed what was being spelled and did a horrible job of making consistent letters. I’m really drawn to the incompleteness of the phrases from what is usually reserved for advertisements or personal messages. I’m also very attracted to the use of vast skies which I’ve used many times in my paintings and feel that this is obviously due to the fact that my studio/home for the past 13 years has a wall of windows that gives me an unobstructed view of the sky and Manhattan. I get non stop light for 12 hours of the day. I’ve included all of these images below including a detail of When We Last Met…Before…Even Now.

Last Chance by Brian Higbee(OL) by Brian HigbeeWhen We Last Met...Before...Even Now by Brian HigbeeWhen We Last Met...Before...Even Now (Detail) by Brian Higbee

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