Trudy Fong

Private Life of the Hydrostone Scene One: The Ice Cream Parlour


Trudy Fong

Acrylic on Birch Panel

12" x 16"

When I saw the direction that Hurricane Lee was headed in, I took the opportunity of the last sunny day to go over to the Hydrostone to sketch the life there in pen and ink.
       I am an avid Urban Sketcher, so you will often find me in a park or café or bus, hiding behind my sunglasses, discreetly, observing, and sketching. I post some of these on Instagram or FB.
        I am also multilingual and a shameless eavesdropper, so I also hear the stories of my sketching subjects, [my muses], provided they are human. When they speak a language other than English, my muses also imagine no one can hear what they're saying, which makes the eavesdropping even more fun.
       When I draw, I often search for narrative, since I have kept an illustrated journal for many years. I am a big fan of graphic memoirs and novels and appreciate the story boarding art used in the film industry, which is my other passion. 

      The neighbourhood is more than buildings, so I interjected a story or two, as if they depict a sequence of events: think of these three paintings as a set of story boards or frames in a film. I call them “the Private lives of the Hydrastone“, Scene One, The Ice Cream Shop, Scene Two, Lost in Thought, and Scene Three, Mutton Mutiny.
       in the first scene, a lady is enjoying her ice cream, when she spies a cat, about to eat a fallen cone, discovered on the pavement. In the next frame, a young girl pours over her cell phone while getting her hair done. In the same picture, an alley cat has arched their back, eager to pounce on the ice cream that the other cat is about to devour.
     The girl with the cell phone does not observe this.
      In the third picture, we have a knitting shop, with a window decorated with sheep . Only, in this case, one sheep has stepped through the portal to the world of knitting and has become real.
      All of the animals in these paintings have “broken the fourth wall”, as they say in the film industry: They are observing you, the spectator, and are inviting you to participate in this moment of whimzy.
    A note on technique: I love the effect I get with a dip pen and Indian ink, but travelling around with an open bottle of permanent ink is hazardous. To get a similar effect I often use my Conklin Durograph fountain pen with an Omniflex nib.

       To get the same expressive line that I get with a dip or fountain pen  when I did these acrylic paintings, I used a rigger brush (with very long, springy bristles), and very fluid, high flow, acrylic, then used heavy body acrylic to add color.
      I think the end result retains the fluidity of my original on-site sketches. All paintings are varnished.

Trudy Fong