Oil on Canvas, 2015, 23 1/2" by 34 1/2" (unstretched)
Eons ago, in Post #19, I wrote about the six weeks I spent in my daughter’s spare bedroom recovering from a broken ankle. With nothing to distract me, I made “lemonade” out of the down time by drawing the view from her large window on the 11th floor overlooking West End Avenue. For the first time in my life, I was able to fully concentrate, go “into the zone” (Post #71: Flow and More Flow). I spent at least six hours a day drawing and redrawing the same buildings, getting “better” all the time. I felt like Monet or the Italian artist, Giorgio Morandi, who did endless, exquisite images of rows of bottles.
Charcoal on Toned Canvas, 2015 24"x36"
But then I recovered, came home and went back to my usual large, satirical paintings, “Weimar in Stamford.” The West End Avenue rooftop drawings lay untouched in a portfolio for several years. A couple of months ago, however, after completing a series of eight canvases (6’x4’) that cover the walls of an entire room, I found myself depleted. Since I needed some downtime, I decided to go back to a ‘dropped thread,’ the scenes from my daughter’s window, to turn the sketches into actual paintings.
Oil on Canvas, 2015 - 40"x36" (unstretched)
Architectural renderings are not my thing - I barely passed Drafting in college. I needed to concentrate on the expressive quality of the views, rather than how they actually looked. I found some pieces of canvas in the closet, much smaller than what I usually use, toned them with a sepia wash and proceeded to place charcoal versions of my drawings on them. The first few were pretty realistic, like the originals, but then, the paintings began to take on a life of their own. Size relationships no longer mattered; perspective came out of my head, not a formula. Color? Not much. By the time I got to the fifth and sixth paintings, the work became even more surreal; in fact, when I started them, I had no idea what I was going to do. These were dream states, not photographs.
|Rooftop Scene, Oil on Canvas 2015|