Header Graphic
Thoughts on Where I Paint
Martinez, California Waterfront


Why I go there

the first thing you see is the house
at least a hundred years old
below street level
so it needs sandbags to stop the rain
it’s faded yellow with a stove pipe
coming out the side and up to the roof
behind it are a barn
and an old fish house
where the fishermen
having come up the small canal
would store their catch
before market
I walk along the canal
now weed choked
an old pram
moored to a rusted iron pipe
moves slowly in the slight current


I walk along the canal
and pass a foundation
of something long gone
not as lucky
as the yellow house
to my left is a path of worn bricks
which winds to the water
parallel to the canal
it’s not a straight path
it winds and turns
with a purpose of its own
a little farther on I stop
the path has forked
and it’s here I set up my easel

I can see the water now
with rolling golden hills beyond it
even a glimpse of Mt. Tam
between two of them
half a mile away on my left
are railroad tracks
and a siding full of tank cars
and boxcars
above them on the hillside
the trees oaks mostly
cling almost impossibly
while casting hundred foot shadows
down the slope
and onto the tracks
overhead three hawks circle
while over the water ten pelicans fly by
in formation ten feet above the waves

I pick up a brush

c Warren Dreher 1993-2009 All rights reserved

"Hills and Haze" Oil on canvas 22x28 1993 Private Collection
"Mt. Tam from Martinez" Oil on canvas 9x12 1993 Private Collection
"Hills and Siding, Martinez" Oil on Canvas 18x24   Private Collection


Copyright Warren Dreher. Reproduction is prohibited without the artist's consent.