Today I worked on darkening the sky to the right of the clouds, the sea and the island. I’m not even close to completing the sea and I really must go and look at the ocean, but this is a good base for the next layers. I don’t recall having ever painted a sea before.
The sky is coming together nicely. I used some ivory black mixed with ultramarine blue to darken it, then used a rag to shape the edges and lift of excess paint so the layer became a patchy glaze. I added some Naples yellow highlights to the clouds and the edges of the island landscape where the setting sun would hit them and painted a discrete New York city skyline. I hope the city isn’t going toÂ grabÂ too much attention, and kept it pretty low-key, but it should add to a sense of uneasiness and impending disaster because the clouds come from that source which is burned into the collective imagination of every American.
I’m still thinking aboutÂ the people jumping fromÂ the World Trade Center and and this is colouring my work on this painting, probably a result of reading Jonathon Safran Foer’s splendid novel “ExtremelyÂ Loud andÂ Incredibly Close” last year. Images of a falling figure became a shocking feature of that narrative and got deeply under my skin. I’m not entirely sure why this should become the underlying theme of the piece, but it has taken over.