The story one always hears is that the impressionists only painted on sunny days. I sort of doubt that that rule was really that rigidly adhered to, but the overall, the sentiment is there in their work. I like the idea of breaking away from the academy, painting being liberated, but the world view that they expressed leaves me a little too warm and fuzzy, a little too pretty, to leave me comfortable. Like being taken out to eat in a restaurant that I know I could never afford; It seems pretentious. Fortunately, realist painters like George Bellows, John Sloan, Robert Henri and the Ashcan School came along and suggested another world view shortly thereafter, making it just under the “painting is dead” wire.
This is a painting I did of the James River, looking towards the Southern States building. Sometimes I think of those towers as Richmond’s Mt Fuji, and every artist should paint a cycle of 100 views of them. I think this painting would be my third or fourth. The mud was so deep when I was working on this that it nearly sucked my boots right off of my feet, which at least ensured that I got left alone when I was working.