Saturday, November 2, 2013

New York V: above Queens; evaluation

Above 43rd St., Queens, the back yards, oil on card, 13 x 12 cm

 There is something of Eardley here.

Above 43rd St., Queens, looking North-West, oil on card, 14 x 13 cm

Above 43rd St., Queens, N.Y., looking down, oil on card, 12 x 12 cm

These three paintings were executed from the roof of my lodgings.

 If I regret anything about the US trip, it is that I did not paint anything close up, intimately.

 All painters have their distances: Lucien Freud or Chardin work much closer to his subject than, say, Turner does. And different cities condition different distances, so that panoramic views are a more likely response to Rio than perhaps to Camden. But I think if i were to revisit, I would try to get closer to my motifs, at least sometimes.


The trip was, I think the most successful of my longer painting trips so far. The weather was magnificent, the light perfect and  the city is easy to understand and it is dramatic. The decision to focus on Queens, a rough 4 mile radius from my lodgings was wise, allowing me to explore without getting bored. 

I came to love Queens: it is ordinary but then quite beguiling at the same time, with an incredible mixture of unpretentious people from all over. I didn`t find any architectural marvels there- it is strange to me how few Churches there are- but there is a huge amount of good solid ordinary building, both blocks and townhouses -the sort that is so woefully lacking in Brazil- all laid out on an elegant grid, sloping easily down to the river, punctuated by small parks here and there.


Many thanks to James for putting me up on my first days in the USA and for helping me, and to Tatiane for bravely and brilliantly assuming the role of  photographers assistant.

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