Paint Schoodic

Join us in Acadia National Park in August. Click here for more information.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Carol and Carol make a break for it

Let's call it Genesee River in Full Spate. 9X12, oil on canvasboard, by li'l ol' me.

Remember a few weeks ago I suggested you get your outdoor painting kits together because eventually it would stop snowing? Evidently, that was a case of “do as I say, not as I do,” because the fair day finally dawned and I was unprepared.

I could have spent it organizing my kit, but that would have been no fun. Carol Thiel and I threw together some basic painting supplies and headed to the Pont de Rennes bridge instead.  Carol didn’t bring an easel and I forgot a palette knife, most of my brushes, and a lot of other interesting things.

A tourist offered to take our photo. 
 Rochester’s High Falls is, like Niagara Falls, a plunge basin over a limestone shelf left over from glacial Lake Iroquois. The Niagara River, being a strait between two great lakes, carries much more water, but the Genesee is in full spate right now due to last week’s rains. The Genesee River drops almost 2000 feet from its Pennsylvania headwaters, through hills, meadows and the fabulous Letchworth gorge. In the course of its explorations it also roars over six waterfalls.  It tends to be turbid when it’s feeling its oats, and today it was the color of wet concrete.

This is the composition I wished I'd painted. The ruin to the right proved to be not as interesting as I'd expected.

A icon being dismantled! The smokestack at High Falls will soon be no more.
This is the heart of Rochester’s historic manufacturing district, and the Genesee drops almost a hundred feet through a tight corset of stone, concrete and brick. A rail line presses down on it from above. I never tire of this landscape, because it connects us so closely with our industrial past. This is what Niagara Falls once looked like before it was cleaned up for tourists. No parkland serenity here, but a distinctly urban, muscular landscape.

Carol's partially finished painting. We met when she took my Adirondack workshop.
Nevertheless, we talked to tourists from all over the world today. How wonderful that their window on Rochester was so sunny and gloriously warm.

There's still room in this summer's Maine painting workshops, and the weather there is always exhilarating! Check here for more information.

No comments: