I love to hike and mountain bike in the Wissahickon. I usually park on Northwestern Avenue – down the street from Bruno’s – and take the bike/walking/running path there. During the winter, my favorite time of the day is between 3 and 5 pm. I love the fading light and the bare branches silhouetted against the wintry, mottled sky; the way the sun casts its warm light on the cold, gray ground. After I’m done walking or riding, I’ll sometimes head over to Chestnut Hill and to McNally’s Pub for a pint of beer and one of my favorite vegetarian sandwiches ever (The George Bernard Shaw). These are my favorite days in winter: being out in nature and then warming up in cozy McNally’s with a dark beer and a yummy sandwich in the company of my two kids or a friend. In my artwork, I try to capture the feeling I get when I’m out riding or walking in the Wissahickon.
The paintings in this exhibit were created using acrylics and the mixed media pieces with a technique called “Paper Cloth”. With paper cloth, you adhere paper, fabric, found materials, etc., with a watered down adhesive (I like Aleene’s Tacky Glue) to a piece of muslin or canvas. You can then draw, paint, print and hand-stitch on this surface. The mixed media pieces in this exhibit take their lead from the abstract undertones of my paintings. The technique of paper cloth lends itself to experimenting and playing. The landscape is my jumping off point, but the technique of paper cloth soon takes over and the layering and patterning become more important than the depiction of any particular scene.
You can still imagine what Forbidden drive was like 100+ years ago when it was still the site of a vibrant mill community. “Lone Bridge, Fall” and “Last Bridge Standing” depict the red covered bridge that is situated between Bell’s Mill Road and Valley Green. Originally, there were five covered bridges spanning the Wissahickon Creek. Now there is one. Two of the pieces are of the Henry Avenue Bridge that crosses over Lincoln Drive. Philadelphians know it as “Suicide Bridge” for obvious reasons. (I didn’t want to call it that – such a negative name for such a spectacular structure.)
This is my last post about my own show. I swear. (But not on the life of my children or anyone else that I love.)