Thursday, August 12, 2010

Patchwork City

This is a 30x40 canvas, which is nearly as big as I can get. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this painting--I don't know if I can put more atmospheric art up on my walls, but storage is a problem. And since space is an issue, I have only a small, fold-up table-top easel, and that can't hold more than 40 inches of height on a canvas.

All the same, I'm trying to figure out how I can make the next 30x40 canvas more affordable. I'm doing another. I think this painting says more than I can articulate on the subject of my former home.

I tell people I hated New York, but that's an oversimplification. There are a lot of problems with New York. It's really hot in the summer, window air conditioning units take all the fun out of life, bugs and rodents are everywhere, neighbors are crazy, and even in the expensive restaurants, the tables are all but piled one on top of the other because there's no space. There's no space, and everything is old, old, old. Rent is high, pay is crap. Grime in the subways, grime in the apartments, grime in the air. There is no dirt like New York dirt. It's impossible to keep anything clean. The floors are uneven, there is no storage space, and the evening commute is noses to arm pits through all of midtown.

And actually, some of those things were attractive features. You know. It's kind of Romantic, all those layers of dirt revealing layers of other things. There is no place more real than New York. It's a really beautiful and really hateful city, both of those things at once. I miss it.

I try to tell people how it made me feel, but I don't know how to articulate that kind of roar, then I start to ramble and it comes out very negatively and I don't really want it to, and I think people have all heard that same story before. So I say I hated it, and that's part true. My bitching aside, awful things happen there.


  1. I think your painting says all that and more. it's beautiful, and disturbing, and emotional. As someone who spends most of her life homsick for NY (I spent the best times in my life there, but I only really lived there when I was a baby)- I love it.

  2. Much as NYC killed me to live there, I spend a lot of time missing it. My favorite restaurants, the subway, my favorite book store, my old job, my old friends, my favorite beach... And it's not just the good things about it that I miss, because everything I felt about that place was sort of a big mix of hating and loving, so that when I try to sum up my feelings, I can't find the right balance. But now that I live on the west coast, I seek out people from New York so that I can hear their stories and share mine.