Sunday, March 21, 2010
It's difficult to be a representational painter in the Pasadena area and not paint the Colorado Street Bridge. I would hazard to say it is easily Pasadena's most painted feature. There may be painters who have made careers of painting nothing else. There is a constant demand for bridge paintings to decorate the offices of Pasadena professionals. It really is a special bridge; it is exceeding long and curves over its course. It's nearly 100 and features lovely arches and lights. A painting of the bridge must necessarily include much of the sky, possibly at sunset. It will likely include hundreds of trees. Depending on the angle, it might take in the mountains or an old hotel.
In its distant past, the Colorado Street Bridge served as the jumping off point for many suicides, but they've added grating to put an end to that. People still call it Suicide Bridge. I used to call it that, but I hear it less and less. Good thing. Better we should paint it.
So I took the plunge on Saturday, and painted the Colorado Street Bridge for the first time. I went with my newly formed Saturday paint out group. Parking again was extremely challenging. One of the downsides of Saturdays, and economy that's keeping people away from the mall.
I'm getting more used to oil paint. You can't layer it like watercolors, and the colors don't even really mix the same. Inspired by Elio Camacho, I left burnt sienna off my palette, and added thalo green. The colors may be a bit extreme, but that may be good.