Chas Martin - Paintings, Sculptures, Art Classes

Watercolors, acrylic paintings, sculptures and art classes

The Persistence of Rivers

Poppy Dully

Rivers and river canyons have been a recurring theme through my 40 years of painting and sculpture. It started while driving the Kancamagus Highway along the Swift River in New Hampshire. One sketch led to another.

The twisting, converging tributaries recur throughout nature: tree structures, root systems, arteries, appendages and antlers.

River sketch 1977

River sketch 1977

Canyon Layers, ceramic 1984

Canyon Layers, ceramic 1984

Fragile Surface, reductive 5-color block print 1985

Fragile Surface, reductive 5-color block print 1985

River sketch, 1975

River sketch, 1975

Rivers are a primal configuration symbolizing connectivity and confluence. To explore a river is to follow each tributary to its source, then find your way back to the main river channel.  

I’ve never followed a duplicate tributary. Each is unique. The exploration, like jazz, is a journey to the origin of the passage and then to abstraction before returning to the central theme. At the source, you understand another perspective, a new insight of the passage.  

River canyons carve passages through time. It is such and fundamental theme from which to tell a story – once upon a time....

 

Canyon in Three Parts, plaster 1986

Canyon in Three Parts, plaster 1986

Canyon in Three parts (detail)

Canyon in Three parts (detail)