Monday, August 4, 2008
A new pastel for the New Orleans Show.
'St. John' - pastel - 18x25 - © Marc R. Hanson '08
I'm showing this piece as it is, finished, with one small exception. The title is the tugs name 'St. John', but the photo shows the painting before I added the name to the boat. It's there on the painting now, but the photo was taken before that was done. Otherwise, it's finished.
One of the most interesting areas of New Orleans to me was the waterfront. I spent enough time on the upper reaches of the Mississippi River to feel a real identity with that murky but alive artery of a river. The Upper Mississippi River is a place of solitude, quiet rides in a canoe with the occasional interruption of a fishing boat motor or two. But it's a body of water that you can still get very lost on, especially if traveling the backwater regions of the area where the Chippewa River meets the Mississippi just below Lake Pepin. There is a swamp in that area called 'Black Slough' where even today only a few people could be trusted to take you into the middle of and still be able to get you out of... without GPS that is! That's the Mississippi River that I know.
Even in New Orleans with all of the industrial activity, the Mississippi has a presence and a personality that lets you know that there is something so much larger going on than all of the car horns, air traffic noise, sirens and general metropolitan background noise that surrounds you in a place like this. There's a calm about Old Man River. In New Orleans the working boats seem like a completely natural extension of what the river is. I'll probably paint more of this aspect of NOLA as I approach ideas for the other paintings for this exhibit.