New York Life


New York Life

22" x 30"

watercolor on paper


This painting was inspired by Joan Didion's timeless essay, "Goodbye to All That," about her experience living in New York City in her twenties.

For the last year I've been lucky enough to have a very good view of some notable Manhattan buildings from my studio window.  They include the New York Life building, the Met Life Tower, and One Madison.  To me, they resemble a phalanx of mismatched soldiers each keeping watch over Madison Square Park.

As I worked on this painting each afternoon, the view became increasingly obstructed by the construction of condominiums on the western side of the park. It seemed like with each day, a new floor of the building would be erected.  I couldn't decide if this was more remarkable because of how quickly the construction team worked, or how slowly I did.

Beyond the changes in the city scape, the end of daylight savings meant I had to adjust what time in the afternoon I could work on the painting, in order to maintain a degree of consistency in the light and shadow angles. Life doesn't stay the same anywhere, but it's safe to say that in New York life changes the fastest.