I must admit, it was quite a shock to the system moving from sun drenched Southern France to central Berlin, in November. I had mentally prepared myself for the change in light but had overlooked what effect that would have on the colours.
The journey to Berlin had been glorious. Vivid autumn colours heralded my arrival. Tall trees with coats of red, orange and golden yellow trumpeted their welcome.
In their honour I prepared my first two canvases with undercoats of gold and silver. But what is this? A trick of the light? That gold is brown now, the silver only grey.
To distract myself, I completed the sky on a piece that I’d sketched out whilst still in France. Despite my best efforts the mediterranean blue I’d intended was somewhat diluted. There was a crisp chill in the air.
Where had all the colours gone? Could I really be this sensitive? If so, I knew I had to find somewhere in this city where the colours were not muted and I did not have time to wait for the Spring.
I’d been mulling this over whilst travelling on the U-Bahn, the underground train service that serves Berlin. Instead of names, the lines have numbers and this was the U8. Stepping out onto the platform at Jannowitzbrücke had me reaching for my sunglasses although I was still deep under the ground. I realised that I was saved; from Hermannstraße to Wittenau are all the colours I needed to make a painting.
And so I did. “Blick” is the German word for “view” and in “Midi-Blick” you will see foliage inspired by Rosenthaler Platz atop trunks from Henrich-Heine Straße.The sky is luminous with the colours of Weinmeisterstraße and Boddinstraße, the banks owe their colours to Alexanderplatz and Gesundbrunnen. Of course, the path that led me there is the vivid yellow of Jannowitzbrücke.