The story behind a painting

A glimpse into my painting process and story behind this commission.


A few months ago I received an inquiry for a special painting, the client liked an art print that was for sale on my Etsy shop. The painting would be a bigger version of the print with some additions.

My print was based on a cityscape painting of Green Lane in Manayunk, a neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This particular image, was a feel good memory for the client who grew up near this neighborhood but has since moved out of the city.

The inspiration: Green Lane – A 5×7″ print of my original paintings on paper

Green Lane has changed over the years, with many buildings gone from the street including the closing of St. Lucy’s Catholic School and the demolished Church. Sentimental to the client’s family history, it was important to have St. Lucys Church included in the painting, with views of the Manayunk bridge and train trestle as well.

My creative process began with a visit to the location, I captured the view of Green Lane from different perspectives, high above the street and down below, with help from my lovely assistant (my daughter).

I work from my own photographs when creating a painting, but with this particular project I also had to rely on old street views for the image of the church, which no longer existed.

Thumbnail sketches helped to work out the composition and allowed the client to visualize my ideas. The chosen image was drawn to a larger scale, and approved by client before I began to paint.

Thumbnail sketch ideas – these quick lil sketches help ideas to flow .
short video of my process, the stages of painting

Beginning stage: Since it was a larger painting, I worked on this standing up.
detail of painting
The finished painting, 28 in. x 22 inches, acrylic & watercolor on cold press paper.

It is always a pleasure to create something special for someone, especially when the artwork can bring forth such wonderful memories.

Thank you very much for stopping by!

You can also find my art here:

Etsy shop @ JensImaginings



11 thoughts on “The story behind a painting

  1. Love seeing this (since I live about 15 minutes away this place is so familiar!). I think you were also viewing it from the (former) railroad bridge ? I’ve been along that same walk, what a perfect view. And I think you did justice to the scene. I bet the client was very happy!

    1. Thank you Claudia šŸ™‚ We probably cross paths and don’t realize it.. Oh yes I love walking along this path on the trail bridge, some great views up there. It is a nice stretch of path that extends outside the city. I was happy to achieve what the client really wanted in the painting, it was a fun challenge!

      1. Cool!!! As a family we walked to the Pencoyd bridge for first time this Summer and we went over to the cemetery, that was interesting. So many interesting places to discover.

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