Finally, the weather lets me get out there • April 9, 2015


This is the mouth of the chasm out of which the Passaic River flows in Downtown Paterson, NJ. The waterfall is out of sight to the right, and the power plant is just to the left. You’ll see drawings of them soon too.



Good Morning All –


I’ve been aching to make pictures in Paterson again, but this is a spring in which the long range forecast keeps promising lovely days that don’t happen. Phooey! I’m sure they’ll sort into better shape soon enough. This past monday I had my first taste of what that will be like; bright sun, and my fleece jacket hanging on a tree branch by early afternoon.


Drawing on the spot is a lot different than doing so in my studio. It’s an exercise in rapidly, continually editing sensory overload – there is so much in sight, such movement and interplay between textures and ever shifting light and shadow. In the studio, I can freeze a moment and take however long I need to tease a picture out of it. In real time, I must chase a day that moves faster than I can. Three or four hours wears me out but by then, with luck, the drawing I have looks vibrant, and as if it careened along. Fast, crude marks are at the same time sensitive, surprising and marvelously suggestive. I wouldn’t make them if I had time to think!


Man, I hope I get more days like that soon. Until then, I will leave you with last monday’s picture. I fussed with it more yesterday, and have other stuff I’m gonna try that could very easily kill it. But I have to try. If I succeed, it’ll be a better picture still. If I fail, I’ll go back when the sun is shining, stand in the same place and start again.


Your Buddy Bill


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