"Park Avenue Nocturnal"
14" x 18"
Oil on Canvas
copyright by Artist, Brenda Hofreiter
This painting was created on Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL. It is a night scene of the old Colony Theater which is now the Pottery Barn. The theater opened in 1939 and had one screen and 500 seats. It closed in 1975, but the people of Winter Park saved the marquee during the renovation. You can find a current photo and the history here: cinematreasures.org/theater/14055/
This was painted just before Christmas and you can see some of the seasonal lights wrapped around the light pole in front of the Pottery Barn sign. I chose this scene because of the history of the Colony and because I enjoyed the marquee lighting up the night sky with its pure white light and contrasting with the warm lighting of the store fronts and street lights. I loved the lights on the second floor balcony of the Park Plaza Hotel. It was actually difficult to paint this subject because of all the cars parking in front of it and me as I painted. I decided to just put in two cars so that you could see the fronts of the buildings, but Park Avenue in Winter Park is really a happening place with lots of cars and shoppers.
It is fun to paint at night because the light doesn't change as much as it does during the day giving you
an opportunity to paint plein air without "chasing the sun". It also reduces a lot of the detail, so that the
painting is dramatic. Since you really can't see your color palette in the dark, you never really know what it's going to look like until you bring it into the light. Sometimes, it is a real surprise!