I’ve been procrastinating over this particular canvas for a while now. In fact, I’ve been procrastinating about producing any art since I returned from the UK last November – apart from the lighthouse painting I did just before Christmas.
The inspiration for this painting was based on photographs that both me and my husband, Bill took during our honeymoon in New York back in 2015. But due to a lack of photographic references, we decided to revisit New York last August and the Flatiron Building – while we were there (it wasn’t our sole reason for being there…), and I managed to get a much better stock pile detailing light and surrounding architecture, and I have at last been able to complete the layout of the composition. Finally.
The scene itself is relatively fictitious, as you can tell by the addition of the hybrid cat-birds in the foreground and the giraffe on the right hand side and at the foot of the Flatiron Building helping herself to the flowering hanging basket. Plus, the heavily populated scene is cobbled together from various photographs taken during that first visit, with the addition of some figures from my imagination just to provide balance to the overall piece, and a version of my daughter just opposite the viewer’s focal point. Although, on any given day the area is packed with tourists and isn’t too dissimilar in appearance.
It’s fun to embellish ‘real’ scenes with fictitious additions – artists have been doing that forever. Although, unless you are exceptionally skilled at drawing exactly what you see in your imagination and what you see before you, then it takes a little concentration, research and patience while you overcome any anxieties about being able to pull such a thing off. Hence why this particular canvas has been sitting for so long awaiting further inspiration.
I did attempt to paint the sky with Turner’s influence and imagined instruction last summer, but I think it needs to be reworked and made a little more luminescent. Now that I understand how the gradient of the sky should be, I think I can reattempt it, and hopefully make a start on the painting proper. Bill has so patiently waited at the bottom right corner of the canvas too, as he has in person, so I think it’s time I got this one done.
The composition definitely feels more complete now that I know the lay of the land and the surrounding architecture better. The Flatiron Building I painstakingly planned out, getting the angles of perspective right. It caused me no end of conniptions at the time. I guess my confidence in drawing has returned since as I freehand drew the peripheral buildings only the other day in a creative fit almost, after a long stint of being really quite uninspired artistically. You know me though, I have to sneak up on paintings and my creative self so that I don’t unwittingly startle my more pragmatic side. The pragmatist in me is a pain in the bum and is quite happy to stop me from doing anything creative on account of a million other things that need doing first…sigh. Never underestimate the power of distraction!
I suppose, watch this space. I shall post further updates on this painting once I’m underway.
I’ve been learning a lot from dear old Mr. Turner lately, so I shall bear him in mind as I paint this one.
May your buckets be suitably murky…!