Daylighting Tibbetts en Plein Air

In the fall of 2021, with the generous support of the NYC City Artist Corps grant, I painted the path we hope to see Tibbetts Brook daylighted. I documented the sessions with photographs and writing, which you can read below. The video above is a 4 minute overview of the project.

  • Painting 1

    Painting 1

    I set up yesterday right on the edge of where Tibbetts Brook may emerge from VCP and flow down the CSX rail line. The day before, this abandoned rail corridor was a raging river from the Ida rains, now it was calm—still wet, but no longer a river. The corner is right at a highway…

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  • Painting 2

    Painting 2

    I returned to the site of the historic Major Deegan flooding and painted the largest watercolor I’ve done in some time. #DaylightingTibbetts is about inviting water in and it felt necessary to think in watercolors. The highway is also a river, but of oil. Oil and water don’t mix, but coexist, articulate in expressing their…

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  • Painting 3

    Painting 3

    Yesterday, I painted from a wall under sporadic shade of a black locust tree on w 233street adjacent to Crescent Park. Clear blue sky—sun a bit too hot—luckily this location had shade and was unencumbered by the fence. The #daylightingtibbetts corridor is directly across the Major Deegan from this vantage point. This stretch has a…

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  • Painting 4

    Painting 4

    On Thursday I went back to the Albany cresent to paint above the highway itself, more aware of the fire in this assemblage. It is a river of fire powered combustion engines consuming oil. I spotted this particular parcel on It is labeled Bronx block 2, lot 10, at 5920 square feet, and the…

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  • Painting 5

    Painting 5

    For this painting, I returned to the Van Cortlandt Park South bridge, but instead of painting from on top, I was under it and in the direct path followed by the raging floodwaters of IDA, where we hope to Daylight Tibbetts Brook. I’m painting a landscape that is technically fenced off. But there are a…

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  • Painting 6

    Painting 6

    I set up the easel on a small dead end street, Verveelen Place, directly across the proposed Tibbetts Path from the Albany Crescent. A parking lot for the big box mall with the TJ Maxx was to my right. An unidentifiable parking lot is across the street. There are a handful of unmarked doors, some…

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  • Painting 7

    Painting 7

    I painted on a bench in Van Cortlandt Park upon the damn next to the recently renamed waterbody, Hester and Piero’s Mill Pond. This waterbody was created in 1699, when Van Cortlandt had his enslaved people dam Tibbetts Brook in order to power saw and grist mills. Piero was an expert miller of grain and…

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  • Painting 8

    Painting 8

    Online, it appeared as if Tibbetts Avenue was free of cars as a part of the NYC open streets program. Tibbetts Avenue overlays the original path of the buried stream.  I headed out intending to paint from the middle of the car free road. I felt the need to go looking for the lost stream…

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  • Painting 9

    Painting 9

    I painted at “Siren Slope” – a small, overlooked hillside on the edge of Albany Crescent, next to a fire station. This is an official NYC Park, .28 acres in size, right near entrance and exit ramps for the Deegan. As a community member put it – “I didn’t know that spot had a name…

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  • Painting 10

    Painting 10

    I painted from the rooftop parking lot of a Target. The development is called “River Plaza” and was built on the site of a former industrial site with a large warehouse housing New York Presbyterian Hospital medical records from 2002 to 2005. The project cost 90 million dollars. After razing that warehouse, the developers found…

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  • Painting 11

    Painting 11

     I live on a hill. Each time I go out to paint I stroll down the hill to meet the water. It feels like a ritual now of participation within the watershed. I go downhill to meet the water. The skies were that fall blue but the sun was a bit unseasonably warm.  I explored…

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  • Painting 12

    Painting 12

    I painted in the BJ’s warehouse parking lot, the former site of the Stella D’oro cookie factory. This was another spot I knew of with no fence blocking the view. It’s under a sign for the larger complex, RIVERDALE CROSSING. These type of name choices are funny, solely meant to capitalize on the nearby affluent…

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  • Painting 13

    Painting 13

    I painted the culvert where Hester and Piero’s Mill Pond descends underground into the broadway sewer, spilling approximately 5 million gallons of fresh water a day over the waterfall into the darkness. This summer, I’d seen several ducklings, a few Canada geese, and a swan cignet get stuck in the lower section directly after the…

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  • Painting 14

    Painting 14

I painted on the 233rd street bridge. This is a short hop down from the 234th street bridge. I almost painted facing south to get a view of Albany Crescent, but looking toward the sun for the session didn’t seem like a good idea. I set up looking north over the highway with the…

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  • Painting 15

    Painting 15

    The day before I started this project, IDA flooded this section of the highway and 80+ cars and trucks were stranded in the still raging waters the next morning. This being the last painting session within the CityCorps project period, I wanted to return to the 238th street bridge and paint from the exact location…

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  • Daylighting Tibbetts en Plein Air

    I recently finished this video overview for my City Artist Corps project from last fall. Take a look below, and you can read the text from the project here

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