Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Blue Bridge

Pony Truss Over Leslie's Branch, 12x9 pastel, copyright 2011

Between feeling a bit under the weather and having far too much to do, February has been an unproductive month for me.  A managed to get only a few pieces done, and I wasn't happy with how most of those turned out.  But with a yet another snow day this week, I did sneak in this pastel.

Years and a lifetime ago when I was an archaeology intern at the Department of Transportation, I was asked to do a few line drawings of some historic bridges.  The drawings were then engraved into plaques to be given to organizations that had helped preserve those bridges.  These days it would be probably all be done digitally.

Those little drawings gave me an appreciation for the aesthetics of historic bridges, which are rapidly disappearing.  The pony truss bridge in this pastel is about 1/2 mile from our house.  It is a bit rusted and the deck is a bumpy ride, so I can see the county replacing it in a few years.  About a mile upstream another iron bridge dating to 1913 was replaced this past summer by a very practical and completely nondescript deck and guard rail.  I'm not sure how old the pony truss is, but probably dates to the 1950s or 60s.  It's really too bad that aesthetics are rarely taken into account for such things anymore - bridges like this this are a part of the charm of the rural landscape.  And yes, it really is that blue.

Okay, maybe I exaggerated the blue, but only a little.


  1. As usual Erica, I really think this painting is beautiful. The blue of the bridge brings out the blue in the water and sky - or maybe that is the reflection. Whichever it is, its stunning.

  2. This is stunning Erica. I love the blue.

    I would love to draw this - a perfect subject for me ;?

  3. Thank you ladies!

    Tracey, I was trying to get some of that blue in the water as a reflection. I find that I have really been enjoying painting reflections in water, both in pastel and oil.

    Sue, bridges are an excellent subject for pen and ink! You should check out a web site I recently found - 1000s of copyright free images in an easily searchable database. I think I will paint something from here and blog about it to let everyone know this wonderful site exists.