A couple of nights ago I was listening to the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways and zoning out during a 3 mile run, and then the song "I am a River" came on and I found myself imagining the Neches.
It's been a lifetime since I've taken a canoe down any river, but my mind's eye was flooded with a vivid yet slightly unformed idea. Curious, I found an interview where Dave Grohl talks about how his inspiration for "I am a River." The song was recorded in New York, and like the other songs on Sonic Highways it contains references to the city and the interviews with the musicians he talked to while he was there.
The river part refers to Minetta Creek which flows beneath Manhattan. Grohl said he thought it's a beautiful idea that something primitive and natural lives beneath the modern urban sprawl of New York, and that maybe there's something like that river that connects us all. I like that idea. I like thinking that somehow we're all connected across the thousands of miles that separate us.
I started this 36" x 48" canvas yesterday afternoon. Lately I've been doing very minimal drawings for my paintings, really just bare outlines and broad layouts, but this idea felt like it needed more so I spent today fleshing it out a bit. The tree lined banks are those of the Neches here in SE Texas, at least the way I remember it. I used a few different photos for reference and haven't quite decided the color or mood I'm after, but I can see it taking shape.