Inspiration for Cityscape Art

Some people who have seen my urban landscape/New York Cityscape art have asked me where I get my inspiration. “Is it hallucenogenic drugs?”

No. But some nights, when insomnia kicks in and I’m down in the dungeon of my art studio, I do start to see visions at 3 a.m.

So what is my inspiration? Where do these images that inspire me to create architectural art loosely based on the skyline of New York City come from?

They just appear. Sorry to give an anti-climactic answer, but it’s the simple truth. I’ll be lieing in bed and a vision of a urban streetscape will just pop into my mind.

It is a bit ironic that cityscapes materialize in my mind, considering that I’ve lived in rural Baltimore County, Maryland since 1977. I haven’t even been to New York in several years.

But considering that my formative years, from age 2 until 18 were spent in Manhattan, I guess New York will never leave me. I don’t think I’m a New Yorker through and through (I don’t really care for bagels and lox and I’m more of a San Francisco Giants fan than a Yankees fan) but the Big Apple’s architectural soul, it’s unique juxtaposition of classical and contemporary buildings, greatly appeal to me.

In years past, especially when my mother was alive and still living in New York, I would take my camera with me (clutching it tight; these were not the Halcyon, crime-free days enjoyed under the tenure of Mayor Bloomberg, this was the high-crime era under “How My Doin’?” Ed Koch) and take photos of random city blocks.

When I returned to the relative quiet and safety of my Maryland home, I would use the photos as a rough guide. But rarely, if ever, have I reconstructed a New York skyline with what you might call an impressionist’s touch; I like to interpret and re-imagine what I think is America’s most unique skyline and add my own touch to it.

I’m baffled that all these decades later, people still buy what I consider banal impressionist paintings of fruit bowls. And what steep money people plunk down on prints of apples, organes, grapes and other staid produce! Why not purchase fake fruit while you’re at it? I guess different strokes for different folks.

I try to take a Buddhist approach to my art, at least in terms of sales. I have no attachment to whether I sell lots of prints or not. Still, I would like to be appreciated or acknowledged in some regards, for what I think is a novel form of art: three-dimensional, visionary, architecture/urban landscape art.

I won’t think any less of you if you buy a print of fruit sitting in a bowl with dark shadows, but at least spice up your home and art collection with cityscape art. I think my print Duke Ellington Blvd is dynamic; a good introduction to my cityscape art. Hope you enjoy!