View Full Version : New Gouache painting---Bannerman's Island Towers

09-03-2006, 08:54 PM
It's so wonderful to have a gouache painting just off the easel, and have a place to post it!!! I'm nearly giddy.

This was done from a pic I took on a painting expedition to Bannerman's Island, which is a "haunted" island in the Hudson River. It was owned for awhile by an eccentric man who built a few castle-like structures on the island itself for munitions and a residence, and these towers were out in the water, along with all sorts of obstacles so that boats could not approach safely. I was taken there to paint by the organization that manages the property, which is now in the hands of New York State. Because the structures are so unsafe, it is off limits to the public except for guided tours. This painting will go to the managing organization for an auction to raise money to renovate the structures. I did two plein air paintings there on location, but I don't want to sell those.

5x7, matted to 8x10:


Richard Saylor
09-04-2006, 02:19 AM
Good one! Nice composition. Excellent color balance. I've read about Bannerman's Island, but I've never seen it.


09-04-2006, 07:53 AM
Oh Jamie this is lovely! It has all the same qualities as your oils!! Beautiful!

09-04-2006, 09:22 AM
Just lovely, Jamie! I was born and raised in NYC and have family in the Hudson Valley, but I'd never heard of Bannerman's Island. Sounds fascinating. Something else to keep in mind when I go back to NY.

09-04-2006, 09:35 AM
Good one! Nice composition. Excellent color balance. I've read about Bannerman's Island, but I've never seen it.


Thanks, Richard! I remember the colors of the castles so well from being there. The photo was bland and had little to offer. I cropped it down to at least get an interesting composition out of it. Then I tried to envision being there on location and how it would have appeared in real life----which is so different from a photo. I took huge liberties with it. I altered color according to what I think I'd see painting plein air, and changed the values because we all know that a photo turns all shadows black. Here's what I was working from:

It had to be enlarged a lot because it was just a portion of the original picture cropped down, so it's really blurry too. I think if I had really painted it "just like the photo" it would have been pretty boring. Adding in the warmer colors helped balance the painting.

Jan, thank you! I am really loving gouache for when I need to do a piece that has to be framed soon. I bought a bunch of double mats in assorted colors at Christmas Tree Shop. I do most of my gouache paintings to standard size, pop them in behind a mat, and put them into standard size frames. I hate cutting mats! :evil:

Eileen, many thanks for your comments. If you Google "Bannermans Island" or "Pollepel Island" you'll find a lot of very interesting information about its history!


09-08-2006, 06:10 AM
I don't know how I missed this, Jamie. I like your painting with the better depth of field and colors. Really nice work on the buildings.


09-12-2006, 08:00 PM
Jamie, this is gorgeous! I also lived near the Hudson River (grew up in Westchester County, Dobbs Ferry and Hastings on Hudson) and have never heard of Bannerman's Island Towers... will have to google it! I love the feel of your painting vs. the photo... awesome! :)

09-13-2006, 10:32 AM
Gosh this is beautiful. How nice a piece it is. And its interesting in ways that most landscapes are not. It has a story too. Lovely work and brush handling.

09-13-2006, 10:46 AM
Ann, thanks so much. I'm so pleased that you like the changes. I think the color in the photo doesn't show what's really there at all.

Rose, OMG! I recently did a painting of the Hastings Water Tower on the Hudson! There's a big "to-do" over whether to preserve it as an historic landmark or tear it down because it's on a toxic waste site! If you'd like to see it as a memory of your old home town, here's a link (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361011).

Weezy, thanks so much. There's still a chance I may be able to go out to the island to paint this month....I'm going to try to weezle an invitation if I find there's a time I can go. ;)