September 3, 2011
The Marcy stop on the J train was recommended to me by an MTA employee when I was painting on the Knickerbocker line a few weeks ago. That’s when I walked up and down both sides of the platform until I found this spot. This is the last stop in Brooklyn before you go over the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan.
When I came here today after leaving my first painting session I knew exactly where I was going. The good thing about painting on the weekends is the absence of the working crowd and the ease at which I can set up my paint box. (Plus I’m kiddie free every other weekend now and if I am not busy when they are with…”he who must not be named”… I will go crazy).
You will always get an eclectic and culturally diverse crowd on just about any subway platform, especially one so close to the city. And that, my friend, is probably the most beautiful thing about New York City. And next are these incredible views.
I brought along a canvas I painted on a couple of years ago. I normally don’t paint over old paintings because the wrong layering of glazes can cause the paint to crack.
When you go to a museum and see crackling on a beautiful Renaissance painting that usually means the layering of the oil colors were done in the wrong order. The thinnest layers, with very little or no linseed oil, go first getting thicker with each layer and ending with the thickest-fattiest layers of oil on top.
However, this old painting was done very quickly, quite poorly and had very little glazing on it. I knew the textured surface would lend itself to a quicker start to this painting. As much as I love the crisp clean white of a new canvas there is a slickness and emptiness to it.
I am very happy with the amount of canvas I covered in the two hours I was there. Even though the trains came and went every few minutes and blocked the view, it gave me a chance to talk to the people who stepped on and off the trains. Right at 7pm the street lights came on and that was my cue to pack it up. This week, back to finishing those grape paintings for my agent.