The Merrimack

The Merrimack

The Merrimack

The Merrimack

Excerpt

Anyone who attempts to produce a portrait of so complex a subject as a river should, I think, be forgiven if he takes the liberty of mingling a certain amount of montage with his colors. A textbook of anatomy is not a portrait of a man. A guidebook is not a portrait of a living river. Some of the elements of river portraiture must even be worked into the picture with the help of mirrors. Each mile of channel and shore, each tributary, each village and city of the river valley is as important as each cell of a living body. Yet the painter must discover how to suggest their presence, as the presence of vital cells is evident in cheek and eye, without drawing each one in detail. He must, at the risk of incurring the displeasure of those who might have managed differently, decide what to put in and what to leave out in order to produce the total effect which to him is the river which he portrays. I have tried to present the Merrimack in all of its features and dimensions, as I see and feel it. The details which are not drawn in are not absent from my vision or from my feeling. Like cells of the human body they would bleed if injured. Without them the body could not flourish.

Here is the portrait, at best a reproduction, of a living river.

Raymond P. Holden North Newport, New Hampshire February 1958 . . .

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