The dots/perforations worked, closing the gap between Manhattan and the left side and also referencing the notebooks of Quinn & Stillman. Space & scale more intriguing/ambiguous.
June 11 a.m
Unable to sleep - 'Washington Square' as a title is too innocuous. The painting is what it is, dominated by the heavy yellows. I cannot get past the image of a post-apocalyptic New York choked/drowned/buried by oceans of sand.
Four days in, very close- the colours and their proportions are working now. Manhattan is trapped/held by the heavy yellows, like an archaeological find. 'Sea of Sand' and 'Buried' were the more dramatic, alternative titles at one point. Like how the image sits on the bottom edge. I was happy with the piece at the studio but as soon as I got home and saw the image on screen more ideas emerged that I'll try out tomorrow. I suspect there is a stronger composition if I put in a vertical row of dots/perforations near the left edge which will pull Manhattan towards the left side and subvert both space and scale. It feels a bit tight, lacking in movement but it could be it's just a different kind of painting. Let's find out.
I also have the idea of putting in a differently angled line from bottom left to top right slashing across Manhattan. The image of the tightrope between the Twin Towers: if Manhattan is that far below, how high is the building the viewer peers down from?
In this painting instead of orientating Manhattan on the vertical, like the other paintings in the series, to break the square I have used the (real) 60 degree angle of Manhattan to create a dynamic diagonal.
In the novel*, Quinn ambles across the square during his meticulously described walk from his home to the southern tip of Manhattan, and then back up the East Side to the Stillman Apartment on E69thSt.
Washington Square was chosen simply because of the shape of my canvas. It is actually not a square but a double square. Now a small yellow blob, the (double) square originally filled the canvas. The strong angled lines, almost hidden, structure the painting.
|colours from 'Buried'|
* 'The New York Trilogy', by Paul Auster