city parks

city park series. oil on canvas.
36" x 40"


what interested me in this series was the idea of a green space in a city.  i love city green spaces because most of the time they are one of the few places in a city that are planned with a particular kind of sensitivity. they are usually designed to uplift the human spirit, to stimulate the senses, make you feel alive, peaceful, rejuvenated.
cities are often impressive to behold, feats of human achievement but are also monuments to power, greed, corruption. they can be overwhelming and oppressive.  I can be impressed in a city but also sickened, i'll often experience a kind of cognitive dissonance... sensations of duality.  frederick law olmsted, the grandfather of modern landscape architecture said, "the possession of arbitrary power has always, the world over, tended irresistibly to destroy humane sensibility, magnanimity, and truth."  this quote illuminates the kind of mind he possessed and it does not take much of leap to understand the sort of  energy that he would put into his urban park planning. olmstead designed, among others, central park in new york city and mount royal park in montreal. mount royal park in montreal i know very well-having lived there for several years, nyc central park i know less well but have always been impressed with it when i have visited. frederick law olmstead is someone i often thought of when painting this series of city parks.
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