City of Syracuse, upstate New York, Orangeman 24×48 in.

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City of Syracuse, upstate New York, Orangeman 24×48 in.

City of Syracuse


Oil on panel by Hall Groat Sr.


This evocative painting is a classic skyline view of the city of Syracuse, NY, which is located upstate. It’s painted in oil on a 24″ x 48″ panel in subtle colors of violet, gold, gray, umber, green and blue.

Artist’s Essay

When I see box cars, it always grabs my attention. While visiting Brooklyn College for an exhibition of my son`s work in graduate school, I mentioned to one of his Professors, Lois Dodd how I loved to paint railroads. Hall 11 included one of his smaller paintings of boxcars in his show also. I mentioned the fact I consider railroads a very “boyish subject” She went off on me with a vengeance, and took great exception to my remark. The fact still remains, I have yet to see a female artist paint  railroads, other than the late Holm Martin who originally painted railroads as Homer Roy Martin—a well-known Syracuse artist.

While heading south on Rt. 81 I found an interesting view of the City of Syracuse. The city was undergoing some reconstruction, so I decided to do a rustic scene of MONY TOWERS; CARRIER DOME ; THE STATE TOWER BUILDING and a few non -descript  structures typical of what is often found by the tracks. To be honest, it was the red boxcars in the immediate foreground that grabbed my attention. Sorry Lois, I still think it to be a rather “boyish subject” If feminist artists feel insulted, show me some railroad paintings and I`ll drop my case.

The finished oil is 24’x 48”and painted very directly with no overt attempt to glamorize anything. I used a style I developed in the 1960`s which was inspired by the cubist movement. It seemed appropriate in this painting where the subject matter is mainly architectural. There is a very wide range of colors imbedded in a textural surface purposely kept rustic in nature. And that`s the way I saw THE CITY OF SYRACUSE on this particular day.


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