Starting the painting process


The early photoshop digital layout for the unfinished oil painting “Platinum Rises” _ 2001

by Robert Conway

“I’ve had tenants tell me that they have seen ghosts in your apartment.” my new landlord told me in our backyard that night. “In the garden too, there is one that a few past tenants have seen, It’s a woman, and she’s wearing something over her head, like a shroud, I call her “The Nun” and the last one to see her said she was sitting on the bench by your koi pond, If you see her, tell me.” I said, “Oh, You’ll be the first to know that one for sure.”Well my whole time there camped out on that bench in the shadows all I did waswatch the fish swim around, I never did see any apparitions, at that time in the mile square city of Hoboken New Jersey we  had my own little horror show going on across the Hudson River. And everybody saw it. The those first few nights after 911 I would just sit there on that bench thinking, watching the koi and drinking a little wine. Those nights were unusually quiet, all the neighbors were inside watching the news, you could see the glow of their TVs in every window. Every time an airplane would fly over I would be keeping my eye on it. I remember thinking now would be a good time for ‘The Nun’ to make an appearance, it would get my mind off all of this. Seeing a ghost would actually cheer me up I thought. This was also the time that I was thinking that it might not be such a bad idea to starting painting these fish, I mean it was so calming and since there where not going to be any phantoms to come and divert my attention ala Scooby Doo, I might as well do something that would get my mind off thinking about that steaming pile of doom across the way.

February 15, 2014


16 thoughts on “Starting the painting process

  1. Is this a digital painting? Or a photo you have rendered in the way you want your painting to be? Either way, it’s beautiful. These type of images/subject matter always make me think of M C Escher’s Three Worlds (:

  2. Beautiful image, amazing backstory as to how you decided to create the image. Sad but uplifting at the same time. Thanks for sharing, and for liking my recent posting “Fun with spaghetti” 🙂

  3. Have you thought of painting other fish? You’ll have to excuse me for asking, because I’m a fish fanatic. I’ve kept lots of tropical fish, even bred them. Currently, living in a guesthouse, I only have guppies in pots on my balcony, though it has expanded to 3 pots.

    Any thought of doing watercolor? I imagine you could knock out a watercolor in a day or 2 or 3. A Beta in a jar? No?

    I was also in NY on 9/11, living in Brooklyn, so it’s easy for me to imagine taking solace in the majestic underwater world of the koi, who went about their ancient ways oblivious to the tragedy in downtown Manhattan.

    Keep up the wonderful paintings and insightful blogging.

    • “I imagine you could knock out a watercolor in a day or 2 or 3”

      now you have my attention, goodness some of these acrylic paintings I have been doing just takes me forever to finish, I really have to figure out how to produce art quicker, I have been mulling this over a lot. I am going to give watercolors some thought, that is an excellent suggestions Eric. Yes I am big on fish too. I realize that anytime there is a fish picture in the wordpress reader I hit the like button.Betas are cool, I like those siamese fighting fish, red-tail sharks trout are beautiful, then there are all the salt water fish. . . . So you were in the neighborhood for 911 too? man I remember the week after that so well. yes the koi were oblivious to it, that is why I bonded with them, they did not remind me of that. take it easy 🙂

      • Actually, come to think of it, you could probably use acrylics, but in a watercolor fashion, so that if you make a mistake, oh well, just white over it. Instead of elaborately laying something out in PS, you could just sketch it in pencil, erase as needed, then start applying color. Just a thought.

        • that is a great suggestion, I am hoping that someday in the future I will look back at these paintings that took forever to finish as a learning phase. also I haven’t done any sketching in years, that is something I have been missing.

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