The Artwork of
Kevin M. Haller
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Northeast corner of Lafayette Park (View location of my easel)
April 1--10am
"Forsythia in Lafayette Park"
Oil   11x14
Inspiration and Design:
I was painting on location at Lafayette Park.  The park is the oldest west of the Mississippi and is the centerpiece of the Lafayette Square National Historic District.  The district was once home to Saint Louis's most wealthy and influential citizens.  The park is bordered by stately Victorian homes.  It was a clear, beautiful spring day with nary a cloud.  The forsythia were in full bloom, along with daffodils and flowering trees.  On this day, I was looking for Forsythia bloom to paint.  The characteristic yellow is a common sight in Missouri in early spring, and I wanted to capture the color and form on canvas before it was gone for another year.  In my paintings I often attempt to juxtapose complementary colors, and I have long wanted to paint yellow forsythia under a purple, threatening, spring sky.  This arrangement was impossible on this day, however, as there was not a cloud in the sky, and the sunlight was making equally great subject material everywhere.  Fortunately, purple is not just found in clouds.  In the view before me, an old, untrimmed forsythia lay in front of the backlit Victorian homes on the park's eastern side, a magnificent purple shape.