Back in Paterson • January 7, 2015
Here is my plan: I’ll make pictures of the Passaic River from a few hundred yards above the Great Falls, down past that big plunge and then a little further on, where the banks are lined with factory ruins. This will take us on a short excursion with scenes ranging from dramatic (and at times a little industrial apocalyptic), to the most mundane of views, where you wouldn’t expect any visual poetry at all. To find it, and realize there is enough to keep making more pictures of it is a new experience for me. I’ve never seen my buddy Bob (who is also hard at work painting Paterson), take more than 10 minutes to set up and start getting paint down. He must have clearer vision than I do, but I’m working on that.
These two pictures are my start. Both are of the river immediately above an ugly bridge, that I’ll soon tackle. This view though, is of the river you wouldn’t even glance at. But I did, and the way it was sliding along needed considering, and then the bank started blooming as the water level dropped this summer. There was duck weed along the edges, which meant there were ducks there too of course (you might see ’em if you look close). Now, in winter, the scene is bleak and harsh, but there is a picture I could do in that too. Geez, I had better be careful – I gotta get on down the river!
Your Buddy Bill—————————–
Passaic River #2, Autumn, Above Spruce St. Bridge. Paterson, NJ.
Done largely on site, then finished in the studio.
Passaic River #3, Autumn, Above Spruce St. Bridge. Paterson, NJ.
This is the drawing I’ll settle into as soon as I’m done with this post. It’s tighter than the first one, though I’m trying to fight that. Often, a picture leads me along, every bit as much as I guide it.
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