Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Oil painting 12 - Times Square looking north, New York

Although I was pleased with the feeling of height in the first painting of Times Square, I didn’t feel this painting summed up the magnitude of the visual spectacle of the movement and people, the joyous challenge of painting such an energetic scene, bizarre heights and extreme depths. I did a further painting and could have done more. While other subjects would fall flat if the weather was dull, Times Square is colourful and alive at all times, day or night.

For the painting looking north, I flipped the canvas to landscape and pushed the avenue to the extreme right. This gave enough room across the composition to get a sense of the fast-moving, blurred traffic.

There are few places in the world where you’re being attacked by quite so many brands at once, your vision filled up by so many names and adverts. I was consciously trying not to be drawn in and give them extra attention than the rest of the landscape. I painted them with as much detail as I would a tree, not giving them any special treatment. Famous logos of global brands that we are familiar with have been painted in an impressionistic style as if I’d never seen them before, summed up as strokes of colour rather than necessarily copying the lettering.

The painting includes other familiar American sights including the Naked Cowboy, singing for every passing tourist and a pair of trainers hanging from the overhead wires.

This area has a nearly Bladerunner feel to it with its neon signs and height of the futuristic city.


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