BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. After retiring from working for the Metro North railroad for 37 years, artist Kent Patterson has been recalling some of the breathtaking scenery he has seen of the Hudson River and painting it using oil paints.
"Working for the railroad, I would see views and I'd say, 'Gee, I'd like to make a painting out of that.' Then I'd see another view and I'd say 'Gee, I'd like to make a painting out of that,'" Patterson said during a recent interview.
A collection of Patterson's paintings is now on display at the Moonbean Café at 1123 Pleasantville Rd. in Briarcliff. Prices for Patterson's paintings range from $350 up to $1,400.
Patterson grew up near the river and trains in Dobbs Ferry, and he said he first got into oil painting in art classes at Dobbs Ferry High School. He stopped painting for a long time during his career as tower operator, yard master, train master and project manager for Metro North.
In 2004, after moving into a house he bought in Croton, Patterson set up his basement as an art studio, and he began dabbling in painting again. Since then, he has painted about 30 paintings, mostly of Hudson River and railroad scenes as well as scenery seen from Rockefeller State Park.
"For a time, I worked in Tarrytown. There was a tower there. You gaze out on the river and you couldn't help but think of an image," Patterson said.
Patterson also managed the Haverstraw Ferry out of Ossining for a time, and that inspired images for paintings as well.
"When you see a view you like, it just never leaves you. Some paintings I remember in my head I still haven't painted yet. I think that's pretty common with artists," Patterson said.
One of Patterson's favorite paintings is a view of the Croton waterfront during the winter.
"People tell me it looks like a Christmas card, it looks spiritual," the artist said. "I use a little bit of violet with white and it has that cool, winterish tone. It cools down the feel."
Patterson also likes his painting of four train tracks going upriver surrounded by green grass.
"I was commuting back to the city in 2007. I was riding the rear car of a train and just happened to gaze out the rear door window, and that's basically what I saw," he said.
Patterson's paintings will be displayed at the Moonbean Café until Feb. 12. The painter will have a closing reception on Feb. 12 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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