The Paterson Paintings
This wasn't a project I came to with initial enthusiasm. I didn't want to spend a year or two painting Paterson, NJ, but was lured into it, gently and persistently, by my friend, Bob Demarest. He grew up there long ago, when the city was vital and filled with industry. Now he had a deep desire to revisit it, to find what he might.
My dear, dear friend needed a sidekick, a painting buddy, and sometimes a driver. That he wanted to share his journey with me is one of the finest compliments of my life.
I found my own fascination. In a long forlorn downtown, amidst derelict factories and mills, I encountered dignity, curiosity and rebirth. When I set up and painted, I had conversations with kind, interested folks. Many returned later to see how I had progressed. I hadn't expected that, but Paterson is full of surprises. The second largest waterfall in the east is right in the middle of it, and is at the heart of a National Historic Park! It's easy to see why. What's just as easily overlooked is that visual poetry is everywhere. Some of my best work came from learning to finally see the place I didn't want to portray. Thank you Bob!