It is truly amazing that something as simple as oil paint can be transformed and shaped to capture the motion and space of an entire room of people. Joshua Flint is an artist who makes it look easy.
Joshua currently lives in Portland, Oregon and considers himself a “New American Realist.” As an artist, he has always been drawn to the comings and goings of train stations and their transitory nature, and his current series of oil paintings focuses on that subject; specifically, on the people passing through Grand Central Station.
Joshua describes his scenes as a way of showing “Peoples’ lives intersecting but never touching.” He adds, “Everyone is in motion, constant motion.” Joshua’s paintings, therefore, are full of movement, space, and light.
In this first painting, notice how he contrasts crisp lines with blurred paint strokes—the figure on the far left is a blur of movement, while others stand quite still (and sharply defined) so as to create a constant give and take of energy inside the scene.
Throughout this entire series, people are moving here and there, crossing paths, and rushing to their destinations. Joshua always sets the stage with his carefully placed streams of light that not only help to define the vast space within Grand Central Station, but also to focus attention and draw the eye.
For instance, in the painting above, intense light and blurred brushstrokes are used to strategically focus the viewer’s eye on the man in the light trench coat.
A combination of crisp lines and fuzzy edges create the perfect illusion of movement as the man walks swiftly through a patch of light which brilliantly illuminates his hair and shoulders.
Even the nearby background is blurred to add a sense of movement overall. Distant architecture is left solid and unmoving, however, which pulls it back visually and gives an indication of distance and depth.
Finally, Joshua also uses color to enhance his subjects—almost creating a story.
In this last painting, the woman in the bright red dress is the star, and the concentrated light from above is a spotlight—but fascinatingly, all around her, people surround this “lead character” completely unaware.
To see the rest of the paintings from this dynamic series or to view Joshua Flint’s other fantastic works, please visit his website at www.joshuaflint.com.
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