Commuter Crowd

This fall I have been taking an online class at Woodmere Art Museum (this class is different from the studio sessions I attend in person). We are focusing on women artists from different areas of the world.

I enjoy learning about the artists and am particularly interested in their life stories and why they create the art that they do. I have chosen this focus for my own work in this class. Sometimes it has been a more literal expression of my memories or experiences, as in this painting. I was thinking of the years I worked in Center City Philadelphia, and how it felt to be going to the train station with the crowds in the evening, on a hot summer day, let’s say.

This painting is called “Commuter Crowd” and is done in acrylics on canvas, 20″ x 16″, October, 2022.

10 thoughts on “Commuter Crowd

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      At the time I was thinking of, sort of, I was commuting from Suburban Station (this was before the tunnel connected all the lines) though I guess I have kind of dressed the people in clothes more like today’s. I remember very well when I first started work and riding the train was something I learned to do, that first summer of being at a real job.

  1. Diane

    As always, your depictions of everyday life in a metro area are so accurate. I am thinking if I did a version of this, the people waiting for the El might be a bit less put together!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Many years of memories of commuting, I could do many scenes like this, and what I like most is making the people into individuals, yet still in a crowd that is cohesive. (As I would wish life would be!)

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    Your choice of colours really does communicate the idea of this scene being set on a hot day. Aren’t hot and sticky days just the worst on mass transit? I spent many days trying to keep my face out of some stranger’s sweaty armpit. I really like the way your figures are all crammed into the lower section of the composition in order to really suggest the crowd and people being hemmed in together.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. Yes, these are summer colors and hot, and I was thinking of the first summer I lived here and was working, and became a commuter myself. What a relief it was if I could get an air conditioned train rather than one with the open windows!

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. As I remember my commuter days I also remember I wore a suit to work every day and fancy shoes and hose. I wonder how I did not melt in the summer.

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