Bryant Park, at the rear of New York Public Library, was well located in-between the paintings at Grand Central Terminal and Times Square so that I could work across multiple paintings in a day. It is very formal in structure, with a large central lawn.
This was a favourite place to paint and spend time: it has become a branded visitor attraction with a unique, enjoyable atmosphere. There is a busy programme of events including chess players, table tennis and the best public toilets in the city playing classical music. While we were there we watched ET with thousands of other enthusiastic people on the lawn underneath the moonlight. The classical furnishings and avenues of trees make it an oasis from the surrounding city.
I have condensed the vista on the left to include the Empire State Building and Bryant Park Hotel. I’ve kept the perspective straight on the balustrade and along with other linear features it funnels us into the stylised tunnelling of the avenue of trees.
This was a good space to work and engage with the public, people felt relaxed enough to start quite in-depth conversations. I think this painting really sums up summer in the city.