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Cityscape
cityscape, paint on paper, Day-Glo paint, large works on paper, urban skyline, city, building an art image, geometric shapes, vertical lines, contrasts, balance, using colour, using form, geometric shapes, stencils in art, airbrushing technique, unnatural colour, neon sign colour, warning sign colours, , colour, paint, skylines, urban landscape, geometric shapes, elements of art, stencils, urban skyline, spraypainting, warning signs
description
start quoteI just love colours, exploring the relations between colours...In the back of my mind I am always seeking simplicity, but I seek it in a complicated way...I like rich colours.end quote
-- Stanley Ellis Day (Star Phoenix 1976)

Cityscape certainly illustrates Day’s love of  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  and form. The work is immediately recognizable as representing a city.  Our eyes are drawn to the bottom of the frame, as though the image was built upwards. The top portion of the image is familiar to us as an urban skyline with contrasting clouds behind it.

The geometric shapes, vertical lines, and gridwork patterns remind us of the  varietyPrinciple of design concerned with difference or contrasts.  of shapes found in urban structures. Day puts his own colourful spin on these well-known forms using stencils, spray paints and airbrushes. Many of the colours he uses do not often appear in the natural world, but can be seen on  neonA rare, inert gaseous element occurring in the atmosphere to the extent of 18 parts per million and obtained by fractional distillation of liquid air. It is colorless but glows reddish orange in an electric discharge and is used in display and television tubes. For more information on neon, go to: “Neon” Paints Neon at Wikipedia WebElements on Neon   signs and billboards, on warning signs at construction sites, and even on the protective clothing worn by workers at many job sites.

additional resources On Stanley Ellis Day
Duration: 2:02 min
Size: 9159kb
Things to Think About
  • What feelings or mood does Day create in Cityscape with his use of rich, vibrant colours, and his recognizable but altered shapes?  Does he entice or invite you to look at cities in a different way?  Explain how…
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Cityscape

In his painting, Cityscape (presented here), Day uses  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  and  patternRepeating lines, colours or shapes within a design.  to infuse the scene with energy and vigour. The bright colour is achieved by using  neonA rare, inert gaseous element occurring in the atmosphere to the extent of 18 parts per million and obtained by fractional distillation of liquid air. It is colorless but glows reddish orange in an electric discharge and is used in display and television tubes. For more information on neon, go to: “Neon” Paints Neon at Wikipedia WebElements on Neon   paint, and because this paint is associated with  commercialPertaining to making money, i.e., creating art in order to sell it, rather than creating art for purely aesthetic purposes.  or industrial applications it assists in creating an urban impression. The pattern breaks up the  spaceSpace can be the area around, within or between images or elements. Space can be created on a two-dimensional surface by using such techniques as overlapping, object size, placement, colour intensity and value, detail and diagonal lines.  and  shapeAn element of art, it is an enclosed space defined and determined by other art elements such as line, colour, value, and texture. In painting and drawing, shapes may take on the appearance of a solid three-dimensional object even though they are limited to two dimensions — length and width. This two-dimensional character of shape distinguishes it from form, which has depth as well as length and width. Examples of shapes include: circle, oval, and oblong; polygons such as triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezium, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, undecagon, dodecagon, etc.; and such other kinds of shapes as amorphous, biomorphous, and concretion. (Artlex.com)  in the  picture planeThe surface of a drawing or painting.  and suggests activity and bustle.

  • Create a cityscape mural:
  • Collect images of buildings, parks, houses, bridges etc. that you will use as reference material for the cityscape.
  • For more information on this process, check out the following websites:
References

Author unknown.  'Day free of restrictions.’  Saskatoon Star Phoenix, November 5, 1976.

Burke, Lora.  ‘Exhibition by Stan Day at Rosemont.’  Regina Leader Post, June 3, 1978.

Robertson, Sheila.  ‘Exhibition shows still-life can be lively.’  Saskatoon Star Phoenix (date unknown).

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning