Monday, July 02, 2012

New Plein Air: Henry Hudson Bridge

Henry Hudson Bridge, Low Tide, 2012, oil on linen, 9 x 11 inches
This is my most recent plein air of the season, about 90% done on site on Friday early afternoon and finished in the studio yesterday. It was a really hot day, the kind of heat that makes you sweat bullets for no reason, even when you're in the shade. On that day my friend Andrea an I went to Inwood Hill Park on the northern tip of Manahattan, a place we've never explored but had wanted to for a while. We didn't realize the park is big and that there are some trails that lead you up some big hills. We hiked up to the highest point, which offers a nice panoramic view of the the Hudson River and the Washington Bridge. I wanted to paint up there but we would have fried in the open sun. We made our way down and walked around for a bit and decided to paint the Henry Hudson Bridge, which was my only reason for going there in the first place. The hardest thing about this day was not the heat or humidity, it was the exposed river bed which proved to be a difficult thing for the both of us to paint. Understanding the color appeared to be easy, when looking at it directly it seemed like a muddy ochre, but perspective and reflecting light changed the color in many areas. There was blue, green, ochre, grey, brown, and God knows what other colors. I kept thinking of Corot's two paintings, Rome-Island Bridge of San Bartlomeo, and Narni: The Ponte Augusto Over the Nera. Not that I was trying to be Corot, let's face it, that's a tall order to fill! I kept asking myself though, how would Corot do it? Especially on the latter painting where he depicts a muddy like river with blue highlights, very similar to the one I had in front of me. It took a while for me to get it to the point where I was satisfied enough before calling it quits, and this is what I have to show. More paintings to come.

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