Janie told me about a thing on TV- 'What do artists do all day?' My 7 hrs today were spent moving the painting from below to above. Forwards? Buildings and figures went in and went out - they complicated and cramped the space. I enjoyed the freeing-up of Manhattan and the emergence of emptiness. With that came the refinement of proportion and the very special bottom right corner. But it all seems very familiar- does this piece need more? It still may be the left half of a larger piece - we'll see tomorrow.
I still feel there is a painting somewhere that links my last 2 StillmanStillman paintings with the other paintings in the series, a painting that contains the Manhattan shape and the figure of Stillman.
The obvious problem is that if you put the two side by side, the figure becomes a giant, which I don't want: it is the Tower of Babel that is giant. One solution was to make the Manhattan shape a painting of Manhattan (reference to Matisse's Red Studio) with the figure of Stillman disappearing behind. Another idea was have the Manhattan shape on the extreme left, and the figure on the extreme right of a very large painting which was why I rushed home for a second canvas on Thursday. The idea was to have the Manhattan shape and the figure the same size but to make the figure appear smaller by gradually scaling up the grid of the streets as you move from left to right.
At the end of the day I put one of the Stillman canvases alongside the this painting and saw that the paintings are linked: they both are shapes in colour, connected by the paint handling, composition and the subtle horizontals. And of course the shape and proportions of the Manhattan shape suggest the human-figure.