September 12, 2009

Columbia over the Schuylkill Completed

In early August, my friend Zack and his Mother, told me they were out painting a bridge over the Schuylkill River, so I joined them the following day.

The view from the West River Drive side of the Schuylkill was exceptional for a great composition, and in fact was painted from this very view by several artist's in the past.

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Rather than trying to capture the entire span of the bridge, I chose to focus on the interesting convergence of the bridge, land, and trees on the other side of the river. In particular, I found the sun-lit patch of grass near the bridge to be a great focal point.
After two Plein Air sessions, to establish the composition and color relationships, I finished this in my studio on September, 10th.

A little history on the Bridge.

The graceful concrete arches of the Columbia Bridge carry the main stem of the former Reading Railroad over the Schuylkill River into Philadelphia. Built between 1917 and 1921, the bridge was a critical link between the Reading's passenger terminal in Philadelphia and the shops and freight yards in the City of Reading in Berks County. The current bridge is the third bridge on its site and crosses the Schuylkill just below the famed Regatta Course along Kelly Drive in Fairmount Park.

This was my first finished Landscape painting since 2007 and I hope to do more, although my next focus will be on people within the Landscape. So, keep your eyes peeled ...

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