The bridge series grew naturally out of the original painting. The first, Sharpe's Ferry Bridge, was created for a specific show called Bridges of Marion County. Our county's bridges are a far cry from those of the fabled Madison County so the theme was quite a challenge. After a Sunday drive exploration, Sharpe's Ferry Bridge jumped out as the most picturesque albeit challenging to capture from a paintable angle. Taking on both traffic and threatening rain, I ventured across on foot to take many photographs. Giving it a contemporary quality, I chose to paint a close up life-sized view emphasizing the bridge's rich rusty textures in counterpoint to its serene natural backdrop. The tromp l'oel sketch, nearly an after thought, provided the hook for future work.
Several more information gathering photo sessions plus art history research provided material for the next two paintings. The Impressionist painter Gustave Caillebotte lingered at the back of my mind. I chose his Le Pont de l'Europe because it featured figures, a close up view of similar bridge construction, and a comparable depth of field. I loved the shift in color emphasis it allowed me.
One of Claude Monet's Japanese bridges was an obvious choice for the third in the series as many of us can easily relate to his work. Paying homage to his painting helped to clarify the Caillebot on Sharpe's Ferry Bridge, while allowing me to indulge in beautiful textures and colors to depict nature as it relates to our manufactured structures in Monet at Sharpe's Ferry.
Then too there is the metaphorical bridge across time.