Over the years, I've done a number of paintings in Red Hook, the waterfront port area of Brooklyn, close to my studio in nearby Gowanus. It's such an amazing place, with cobblestone streets, vast harbor views and an aging lot of brick warehouse buildings. It has the feeling of what I think New York must have been like a hundred years ago.
I finished these 2 paintings today. I've had them in the studio for a awhile, where I'd pull them out, noodle around with them, and then turn them around again to face the wall for awhile. The big building featured in both, is an old grain terminal building, a huge massive structure which you can see from different spots along the Gowanus/Red Hook area. It's vacant now, and as far as I can tell, is not being used for anything. There's a concrete company operating next to it, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it's dismantled, leaving a void in the landscape.
These will probably be the last paintings I do of Brooklyn, with our move to Charleston less than a month away. I might do a few more drawings of the neighborhood, but then it will be time to pack up the studio and collect myself for the move. I'm already planning a series of drawings of our new house, and I'm eager to jump in and explore new sites to paint in Charleston. Stay tuned for info on some exhibitions I'll be participating in here in NY soon...
I finished 2 more paintings with the "Kentile Floors" sign. The first one is from my studio roof, where I'm able to get directly across from it, looking down slightly on the opposite roof. The other is from the same spot where I did some other paintings, looking at the sign from the back, a greater distance away. I like the idea of painting the letters in reverse...I'm going to try and search out more spots where I can see this.
The sign is such a landmark in the area...something people recognize and respond to. I've painted it so many times, and each time I do, I curse myself because all those tiny rods of the scaffolding are so intricate and difficult to paint. There's something about it that keeps bringing me back, though. It acts like a huge sun dial, casting long shadows on the roof while the chroma of the red letters fluctuates with the passing light.
Maybe because this winter has been so long and gloomy, but I've become really enamored with the light this March. The sun is still very low in the sky, which is causing these great long violet shadows, but it is also very bright and crisp. Most of these recent paintings have been 'quick' ones....4-5 hours at the most. (Trying to get as much done of Brooklyn as I can before the move)