we did you know - dance free, dance anywhere, there were no upscale restaurants, no parks with cast iron railings and ferrys on the river. what was on the edge of brooklyn heights were piers and ships that brought in our coffee and spices and the longshoremen who went into the holds to unload them.
the area was a microcosm of the city it faced - a mix of money and poor brooklynites who had lived there so long, they took over the rentals of the apartments they were raised in - as had their parents, it wasn't unheard of to hear of rents of $15 a month for a five room railroad with a bathroom in the hallway, which wasn't ideal but to me then and now in my memory - heaven is that brooklyn.
this painting is pretty much finished - it needs to sit so I can look at it in a few days and decide whether to further clarify the structure of the bridge or leave it as is. I like the color and it's structurally sound and not toppling over. it makes sense and while it's not photoreal, it's as I remember.
I fudged the trade center - I wanted it in this painting and didn't want it behind the bridge so I put it on the side. this allowed me to talk about how it could reflect the sky or disappear in the clouds (it might still). I loved and hated the trade center - I would gaze at it longingly every single morning riding into work and every night going home again...at night with all of it lit up like a christmas tree - it was my beacon. I wanted to live in the city so badly and all those thousands of windows were a reminder - all I needed was one apartment out of an entire city of them, which I eventually did find. I finally got to live in the borough where I was born.
what I love most about this painting is I started it while I was in school - I figure I was 30 or so and I laid in a decent bridge and pier I stood painting on but I couldn't handle the complexity of the bridge AND let loose. I didn't know when I could stop. Now I do..I can fudge with the best of them. that's one of the cool things about maturing. BTW - that's the exact site of the River Cafe.
I'm sure you can dance there now but it's different - different and the same, I suppose. life goes on.
PS. So last night the hubbins suggest - um.... enthusiastically - that this painting is of us. Even though when I started it, he was in CA and I was in NY and it would be 20+ years before we'd have even an inkling of one another's existence. So - why not. I like my dancers but the idea of an us dancing makes him happy. It makes me happy too. :)
So here they are but the color is too bright. So I'm pushing them back with glazes, which takes time. You lay down a glaze - which is a thin layer of transparent color - in this case it will be blue with an earth tone. Then it dries. Another layer. That one dries. This can take a week or so.
PPS. I'm not in love with the outstretched arm. It jimmies the composition and its too theatrical, lacks intimacy. Both figures initially didnt relate to one another but now its like a theater set. So i've adjusted them.
In a sensea painting is theater but you don't want parody of theater.
Otherwise theyre pretty.