The Big Red Streetcar Painting

Friday, January 07, 2011

Famous New Orleans Streetcar Painting JK Schwehm, artist

  Although the Big Red Streetcar painting is a lot larger, the green St. Charles Ave. streetcar painting it has sold well on the web for many years. People all over the USA have prints, postcards, greeting cards, stamps and more copies of this painting sold at Fig Street Studio Zazzle Shop. Just click on the image for more details about this now famous New Orleans Streetcar painting. This painting was done years ago when the artist lived near the streetcar trcks and could spend the day painting there.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Actual Picture of Big Red Streetcar in Restaurant

Here is a photograph of the Big Red Streetcar hanging up in the restaurant it was painted for. As you see I had to edit out a few things for them so it fit better into the decor. Take a look at their web page too

You can order canvas or paper prints of this streetcar painting at my Zazzle Shop on the web click the image below-
New Orleans Streetcar Painting print
New Orleans Streetcar Painting by figstreetstudio
Browse more available on zazzle

Other New Orleans art is also for sale at Fig Street Studio-

PS: It looks like Harry's closed but I have no idea what happened to the Big Red Streetcar canvas mural?

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Monday, October 16, 2006

"Coming Through The Hedges"

The final days are here on the mural/painting of a Big Red Streetcar for a restaurant. By now you should be able to tell what city the canvas mural will hang? The process was fun for me as I tried to fit in a few things to give patrons of the restaurant to wonder about and discuss as they eat a wonderful New Orleans inspired meal. I hope to place any final touches on it the next few days and then un-stretch and fold the canvas up for mailing to the owners.
Yes the conductor looks a little like a young Vince Dooley or maybe even the owner of the restaurant. Hopefully when it gets hung I can add in another picture of it in its final place.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Big Red Streetcar Painting

I was asked to paint a large red streetcar similar to my St. Charles Ave. Streetcar painting to hang in a restaurant dining room. I decided to document the painting process in this Blog for those who enjoy watching how a painting develops. The concept was something similar to the green St. Charles Ave. Streetcar but going in a different direction using the red Canal St. Streetcar. Lucky for me I had some photos from before the storm as Katrina damaged and put the red Canal Streetcar Line out of service.

Before I began I needed a large canvas so the restaurant owner sent me a 9x6 foot piece of canvas duck. The canvas needs to be stretched and painted with Gesso. I had to build a stretcher from scratch. I decided to use 2x2's as they were readily available at the lumber yard. However the resulting size of the canvas was limited to 8 feet by 5.5 feet.

I used metal brackets and screws to build the stretcher and stretched the canvas by hand using pliers and a staple gun. I like a lose stretched canvas to paint on so hand stretching is good for me. Next

I took the stretched canvas outside to paint on the Gesso. Eventually I had to move it from under a tree that kept dropping leaves onto the fresh Gesso. After drying

I set the canvas up in my new studio to begin the sketch and decide on the composition. I will try to mirror image the St. Charles Streetcar painting and add in things along the residential part of Canal St. Like the older lamp posts and palm trees found there, plus the oaks like the original painting.

Beginning The Painting

Like any other artistic profession we seem to suffer from a 'block' now and then so it took me a few days of looking at the canvas and thinking a lot before I picked up a brush and wet it with paint. That first day I then realized I needed bigger brushes and a lot more paint then I had on hand. Some of my paint dried up after being packed up due to Katrina.
So I went to the supply store and got what I thought I needed which is now running low. Generally I paint small, 9X12. I like the action of a brush in a small painting. Sometimes a dot of this or that color makes an object appear to the eye.
This large painting has me developing new techniques and I cannot rely on the old small brush to accent an object or create an object. I am still 'layering' on paint. I like to just put on layer after layer and build up the object. I let some of the older layers exposed in the new and keep building until I get the eye to make the object or structure I am painting. I hate to paint an object, I like the eye to create it from layers of color.
I am almost ready to add details into the work but want to stop a day or so to look and think. Let my eye rest and see what the layers are doing.

" Every child is an artist."

I still have to stop myself from painting when the voices began to tell me things I have decided to not follow. When I felt I found myself as an artist I began to paint from my heart not from the art teachers I have had over the years. I remember once in a class as a child I used a nickel to make a small circle. The teacher fused and said not to do it that way. Not that the circle stayed a tracing of the nickel by the time I finished, it was just the beginning and the start of other people telling me how I should paint. I began to look back as a child and develop from there, keeping things as a child would see them.

Picasso once said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." When I began to follow that advice I began to conflict with several art teachers. The Big Red Streetcar is part of the change of finding the child within and trying to keep it that way, thus I stop until I can go back with a child's eye and see what has to be done.

I have also tried to place a few items in to meet the location of the painting when it is complete, can you see them?