Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Iron RR bridge circa 1907

This is an acrylic on MDF board painted en plein air last summer, 2007. It came close to being destroyed in a gigantic railroad trestle fire that spring. I was inspired to post it, because I saw a similar bridge in a painting by one Jared Shear, an artist in Montana. I have him as a link. Check him out.
To paint a complicated structure like this is to get the general gist without getting bogged down in all the details. Please don't count the beams and rivets. Go for the general impression or gesture or (to exercise come German) the gestalt (love that word!).
The words for this post are "gesture", "impression", and "gestalt". One of the secrets behind these words is SQUINT!


Jared Shear said...

Oh David!!!....this puts my bridge all to shame. Beautiful! Like you pointed out, a person must try and capture the "gestalt" or what is in a sense the "spirit" of the scene. Even though you did not paint them, I see every rusty bolt and rivet. I can feel the flaking paint, and hear the moans of an old tired bridge.

David Lobenberg said...

Thanks Jared. What a great comment. We were kinda cold here in Sacramento as well. Old man Winter is just not loosening his grip...this afternoon, the temperature was down to 68 degrees!...burrr!