While on a bus ride I saw this Amish couple who boarded and consulted with the bus driver, then sat down. I know I shouldn’t photograph them, but I knew I wanted to sketch them, all the anachronism of their clothing and the chrome of the bus, even the “No Smoking” sign above them, but in a monochromatic medium. Then I remembered the devoted expression on the man’s face as he gazed at the woman, she so practical in talking with the bus driver, and remembered they had boarded in front of one of the teaching hospitals in Oakland. I guess I’ll never know the story, but I wanted to keep the moment.
I love to work in pencil, it was my first and is my most familiar medium, one in which I can visualize the finished details and looked forward to the contrasts of their homespun clothing with the shiny rails of the bus.
I created this work for an exhibit I had in 2006 entitled “100 West Busway“, featuring 125 thumbnail photos of Pittsburgh taken through the bus window on the round-trip journey from Carnegie and back on the 100 West Busway route, running from the south hills into downtown Pittsburgh, through the east end and Oakland and all the colleges and research centers, back into downtown and back to the suburbs.
From the 125 thumbnails I created a dozen works, each in a different medium, all framed with black wood frames and white mats. This is one of those pieces, and is actually one of the originals from the show.