Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"Seek the strongest color effect possible… the content is of no importance."
― Henri Matisse

photograph: chicago roof landscapes


I stayed at the Palmer House hotel in downtown Chicago for several weeks.   The first night, my room was a 10′ x 12′ closet with a view of the ventilation shaft through the center of the building. I put up with that until, at 4:30 AM, the pipes in the wall started rattling and banging. The person next door or upstairs turned on the water, and I awoke after 5 hours of sleep.

I complained bitterly. I was moved to a suite at the front of the building, with a view across the rooftops.

Edward Hopper painted views like this, industrial cityscapes. Geometric forms and patterns, staircases and fire escapes, vents and windows, turrets and columns.

Photography is for me a way to capture ideas and forms and shapes. These aren’t crystal clear perfect photographs, but they are the forms and ideas for a (possible) painting or series. They were shot with a Canon 300D with an 18-55mm zoom, through a very dirty window, which I’ve compensated for.  The reflection of the glass is not entirely gone.


I also shot another photograph looking out and down the side of the building…


At the corner below is the Dick Blick Art Supplies brick-and-mortar store, from which I had ordered for years over the internet.

The Palmer House hotel is right up the street from the Art Institute of Chicago.  The Art Institute has Edward Hopper’s oil painting Nighthawks.  The painting was displayed behind glass, in a room where there were reflections in the glass that made it difficult to see.  Still there was something connecting about seeing the original, seeing the canvas, the brush strokes in detail, feeling Hopper’s presence in front of the painting as he worked on it.   A print doesn’t capture it.  

Hopper's Nighthawks



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