This is my sixth year of creating an original painting to benefit Works/San José. I’ve used this opportunity to revisit styles I like (Re-Release, 2014, Edna and Barbara Have Coffee, 2015) and create paintings that aren’t otherwise part of a series (Shimmer, 2018). While figuring out what to paint for this year, I realized a few of those individual paintings have aligned into a new series of their own.
The other paintings in this emergent series are Corridor (2017) and A Seat at the Bar (2016). The common elements are that they’re in restaurants/bars at a quiet time (just two people), have some repeating element with furniture or lighting, and interesting reflections on the walls or floor.
This one started off from a reference shot of Haberdasher I took for party planning a few years ago. Haberdasher is an excellent cocktail spot in San José’s SoFA district. It originally started as a speakeasy-style place called Singlebarrel, and the remodel to Haberdasher added cozy elements like red velvet curtains. I did a little searching and photo compositing to bring in two people in the same spirit as the other paintings and also to help balance it.
I noticed that most photos of places like this either have no one in them (to show off the decor) or are busy flash-filled snapshots, and I’m aiming more for how it feels to have a little quiet conversation or contemplation. Now that I’m aware of what elements I’m spotting in these, maybe I can find a few more?