City of Glass 27 600 edited 1
City of Glass 57 - (as the crow flies...)   120x80cms


Great to be painting again in Open Studios. It's over a year since the last City of Glass painting but I've had this idea for a new piece for even longer...


The story 'City of Glass'*, begins with Quinn taking a phone call from someone asking for the Auster Detective Agency. When the phone rings agan a couple of nights later, Quinn pretends to be 'detective' Paul Auster, and takes on the case. Author Paul Auster also places a character 'Paul Auster', a writer, in the novel, whom Quinn visits, giving the location of his address on Riverside Drive, between 116th and 119th street. Continuing the ideas of journeys and the record of journeys in the novel, and extending further the blurrings between 'fact' and 'fiction' that run through my series, the idea behind this piece was to make visual a journey between fictitious 'Paul Auster's' home to 'real' Paul Auster's home in Park Slope in Brooklyn. Looking at the map, and drawing a line between the two locations, I picked up on the dynamism of the angle created and decided to use it in the painting - a journey as the crow flies...

Planning ahead, (and linking to an exercise on the recent Port Isaac course, where, to force dynamism, I asked the artists to begin their painting with a corner to corner painted cross), I started this piece with a top-right to bottom-left diagonal, it's traces now almost hidden but critical to the painting.  I moved my 'journey-line' several times until I was happy with the position. (In 'reality' Park Slope is the shape to the left of where the line ends, but ending there, while more 'truthfull', was visually,not as satisfying so the line moved). Three main colours: orange from Indian Yellow and Venetian Red, a Magenta and Venetian Red mix, and a Cerulean Blue and Viridian turquoise. A new colour, Michael Harding 'Brilliant Pink' to add intensity.

It looks different, more fragmented than usual, but I think we are done. The space is open and ambiguous, including a mixture of painting grid and street-grid. Rhythms of triangles, jewels of colour and incident. Had one of those days where every change, every line, every colour works out, strengthening the painting. I'll start another version today where, as a finale, by manouvering the canvas, I shall guide a line of liquid-paint between the two locations, across Brooklyn Bridge....There could be a series of different journeys, different routes across different bridges in the painting.. we'll see.


City of Glass 27 DETAIL2 edited 2
detail: Brooklyn piers


* from 'The New York Trilogy'