In Green and Gold Curves

February 11, 2018

 Snoqualmie River by Matthew Waddington

 

Matthew Waddington, my old pal from college, made the paintings I've excerpted on my website. For my purposes, I’ve mostly featured his portraits of human beings, but his practice is to go to the Snoqualmie at twilight, after work, to paint the river. You can see his landscapes and other work on this site:  http://www.mattwaddington.com/

 

Though this would surprise him, Matt is also one of my favorite writers: 

 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

 

Ink, Black, On the River- Last Light

 

Drawing, on the river.

Way out at the end of a trail I used to walk on, and fish. A bowl and curve in the river, so pretty, so beautiful, that you get your breath taken away in just glancing up. And there's this one shot view, where all the curves and lines and shadows come together into this shape that makes sense, seems right. Suddenly- I have a motif. Though in fact, it’s the same motif as always.

A river. Shadows. Curves. Lines intersecting, and the boundless convexity of curves that grow- that describe life- and how it bulges out in green and gold curves, always convexity- and somehow, this means something, to me.

My friend and advisor, Kim, with deep insight, remarks that I respond to green, and to these things, for a reason. Actually, I can't right now recall her point - it’s Jungian. But regardless, I agree. I dial in on this one thing, again and again.

Of the two things I like to paint and draw, rivers, and the female figure, it’s the river that speaks most. Odd, I know. But the female figure gets so mixed up in other things - and the river - well, it’s pure sinuous, pure flat, pure shaping its way though a plain, or valley, and taking in both light, and darkness - sometimes a glint, sometimes the blackest black in the whole picture. And if you get it right - the way it appears, in the distance, and swells, in the foreground, and departs - if you get it right, well, that's much. Because there's infinite interest in all aspects - the way the blue sky is deeper, more profound, the way the divots and swells make sense, have logic = but of such fractal complexity and motion - that it is amazing to me, that any pre-photographic painter, could capture this.  So if I do, in muddling, without much training, well, I feel I have like scratched into that thing they sent to Jupiter-something that might survive me…

 

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