New River Gorge NR

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Nuttallburg Coal Tipple

Nuttallburg Coal Tipple. Acrylic on Canvas. 2006. 24" x 48". This rusting steel ruin in this painting represents my first impression of the coal tipple at Nuttallburg. For me it is a modern metaphor of the temple ruins abandoned in the wilderness. The simple pediment and high steel columns reminded me of the classical temples built in the rugged and remote Greek landscape. As the architect for the park, I spent nine years working on stabilizing and preserving the structures at Nuttallburg and it was perhaps the high point of my architectural career.

See the attached pdf below to see the actual Nuttallburg project that includes the tipple, a long elevated conveyor, the mine opening and headhouse as well as some of the interpretive areas that we created from the surrounding ghost town.

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Sandstone Falls

Acrylic on Canvas 24" x 48". New River Gorge National River is a seventy-seven mile long National Park that preserves the wild and scenic portion of one of the oldest rivers in the world. Famous for its white water rafting and rock climbing in the lower part of the river where the it runs in a 1,000 foot deep gorge, the upper part is more placid. Sandstone falls is in the upper part of the park and has a drop of approximately twenty feet.

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Rapid 1

Charcoal on Arches paper 22" x 30". I came from a dry, flat part of the country and I have always had a small fear of water, especially murky water where I can't see my feet. I took several white water expeditions while working for the park and I still felt that sense of dread. In this drawing, I tried to express what would a typical rapid feel like in the dead of night illuminated only by moonlight.

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Rapid 2

Charcoal on Arches paper 22" x 30". Continuing the metaphor of a rapid in the dark, I added the idea of an object caught helplessly in the flood of the rapid being knocked and battered against the boulders and unseen objects in the river.

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New River Night Landscape

Charcoal on Arches paper 22" x 30". This is another night scene of the river and the house-sized boulders that occur in that part of the river. Rather than seeing this drawing as a “river of death”, I see it in a more positive light. The full moon behind the viewer illuminates the clear water and safe sailing beyond the rapid.

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Rapid 3

Pastel on Arches paper 22" x 30" 2009. In this drawing, the theme of a small tree trunk, thrust helplessly against a partially submerged bolder continues the series of rapid drawings using minimalistic colors.