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Pike Street market, Seattle

Oil on canvas; 20" x 16"; May 20th, 1998

Painted as a typical tourist painting. When I travel I like to paint a scene much like a person would photograph scenes. The first day in Seattle I traveled all over the area looking for a scene and finally settled on a view that was only a few blocks from my hotel. This area of Seattle is quite a tourist attraction. There are about 200 little shops in the public market selling everything from fish to shrunken heads. It occupies the whole face of a steep cliff winding its way down to the seaport docks. A trolley carries people along the waterfront, which is quite developed with tourist attractions. 

The market was originally created to supply the workers in the city, food for their dinner. They would shop and then go home. Today, it is much the same and at 6 O’clock the whole place closes down and is locked up tight. Only the cities poor and homeless occupy the streets till morning. During my several days painting on the street I met a Navaho and a Tlingit Indian. The former was a CAD/CAM computer artist and the latter was the head of a tribe of Indians that performed native dances. 

The painting has a great light flux. The clouds, like they are most times are heavy with a little patch of blue, are painted with little pure white. The foreground is dark and thinly painted. The scene looks like it is about 5:30PM just after the shops close and before the rush hour starts.

The large sign “Public Market” is really a funny type of sign that gets caught up in being a important part of the local heritage. If you look very closely to the left of the “Farmers Market” sign, that area is where the fish throwing starts.



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