After watching the MGM musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," I was intrigued by the story’s feverish longing for the Louisiana Exposition, I began reading up. With thr exception of two moderate sites, I was unimpressed by the documentation o f the Fair on the internet, so I built a website, which is the largest in the world. Anyway, this image is an acrylic of a group of VIPs touring a section of the Grand Basin in the massive Fairgrounds on a Sunday (the Fair was closed on Sundays). Obviously, I had to take liberty with color choices, although I kept the color palette subdued. Compositional a rule of Thirds, without strong verticals to counter them. I was going to have a person walking uo the stairs to proide that vertical, but decided on simplicity. Solon H. Borglum sculpted the statue- Cowboy Resting , to the visitor’s right.
The scale of the 1904 Exposition was mindboggling. Notice the size of the people compared to Festival Hall (which was larger than the Vatican). Believe it or not, but the left-most edifice was a Café! Anyhow, this piece is 24 x 48 inches, and was a monster to paint. Again, I did not have a color palette, but tried to look up, and dictate what would be apropos. Photography of my artwork is not my strength. The picture is quite distorted… but what the heck. Here it is.
Probably one of my best portraits. I wanted the sadness of David Rowland Francis to illustrate the ending of the 1904 World’s Fair on December 1, 1904.
I painted the picture with a thinner application of paint, and kept the palette muted. This didn’t take long to render, but I’m quite proud of this image.
Geronimo was a probably the most famous Native American Indian. He was a warrior, author, and legend. Finally captured in 1886, after fighting with white and Mexican troops (they killed his Mother, children, and wife)... Theodore Roosevelt begged the proud chief to attend the 1904 World's Fair, which proved lucrative for the noble Apache. The portrait I did was quick, and bolder to show the man's strength without going to over-the-top or corny. I focused more on his expression than attire. This acrylic is hanging in my hall.
Again, more 1904 World's Fair. Looking at the top image, I added six figures that were not in the black and white reference. I upped the color palette to be less muted. I used a photo of Robert P. Bringhurst's sculpture- Music, in front of the Palace of Education. Very difficult to photo shiney acrylics. The right painting, another acrylic is one of my favorites. Going back to a more simplictic design, I used the leftmost `column' to half-frame the statue and figure. One of my favorite Fair acrylics.
The Palace of Transportation was a massive palace, that contained trains, cars, boats, etc. It contained 15.6 acres of exhibits and measured 525 feet by 1,300 feet. Its main theme was Life & Motion.
The centerpiece exhibit of the grand palace was the American Locomotive Company's display of a 160 ton engine and coal car. Mounted on a massive revolving turnstile, it was named- `The Spirit of St. Louis.' This large acrylic took a while to paint. Although there is no proof what color the roof was (colorized images suggest yellow, and possibly green), I painted the it red to make the image pop, and symbolize strength. Probably one of the best overall Fair paintings I have done, Again, look at the size of the figure compared to the building.
Another Fair painting of the Palace of Machinery. This time, I painted the domes gold, and kept the roof red to again, contrast the rest of the image, Compositionally, the image is a little feft-heavy, but I don't mind.
One of my first Fair Palace paintings. I modified this digitally to 'winterize' it and make it a X-mas card. The plants helped hide issues with the reference. This took over 100 hours to render.
A Theme Park-like part of the Louisiana Exposition, was The Pike, which harbored, everything from stores, exhibitions, zoos, dancing girls, dark rides, and assorted rides. “New York to the North Pole” was a large ride The visual focus was the 200 x 50 foot full-sized replica of the ocean liner- "Discoverer," in water. Visitors would board the Atlantic liner and observe the daily life of an arctic adventurer. Inside, mechanisms and moving artwork outside the portholes gave the illusion that the vessel was at sea. The show was 20 minutes long, and ended in an auditorium I loved painting this image. I framed the boat into the edifice to lead the viewers eye into the piece.