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The Tobyhanna Creek, a thirty mile long tributary of the Lehigh River, carves its way through the Pocono Plateau in eastern Pennsylvania. It was a fine trout stream when I lived in that area and remains so by all accounts. I spent many hours fishing along the creek; hours that were at times challenging, and at other times peaceful. The creek’s name is derived from two Lenape Indian words which taken together mean, “the dark water whose banks are fringed with alder.” The water is truly dark in places, tinted with tannin. When this painting arrived on my easel, it immediately called the Tobyhanna Creek to my mind. For months I considered what else I might do with it; it is a departure from my usual efforts. I was often tempted to add splashes of bright color. I bit of red here and there? Maybe green? I entertained those notions because…well…because that is what I do. I like color and contrast in my works, and the painting has neither. But the painting, and remembrance of the Tobyhanna Creek, held me back, as if the work was telling me, “Let me be. Keep the memories.” And so I will. I now declare the painting titled, Along the Tobyhanna, to be a finished work.
June 29th, 2021
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