Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'S' Curve and 'I' beam

"Vincent Thomas Bridge #15"    SOLD
watercolor on paper, 2011
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)

When deciding on a painting I hardly ever settle on something randomly. Instead I thoughtfully consider each one beyond doing a mere depiction of the subject. Sometimes that is OK but I prefer to be challenged in some way. I would rather have to tackle some sort of problem, figure out what and how to say something, or choose a view that is unique to the subject. Now all the elements of image making can be used as tools to that end.

One of the best and most unique features of the Vincent Thomas Bridge is its signature 'S' curve (actually a reverse 'S') formed by the two approaches of the San Pedro and Long Beach sides.
This view from the Long Beach side of the channel looking west really exploits that 'S' curve from an unusual perspective.
The covered near tower, referred to by the bridge workers as the Long Beach tower, is seen through the supporting columns of its approach.

The sun behind one of the columns casts a dramatic shadow and adds a visual support to the top heavy composition.
I certainly could have chosen a different time of day and still had a good image, still shown off the 'S' but by selecting this late afternoon view I got a little bit more out of it. A composition that echos the construction of a bridge by creating an 'I' beam shape similar to its supporting beams without being too literal.
The shadows and light patterns also echo both the arch design of the bridge and sweeping curve of the approach above. I ended up with the image loosely constructed of the same elements that make a bridge.
That for me is the fun of creating.158

The overlay is a bit clumsy but still gets the point across.

Click on image for larger view
Click 'Vincent Thomas Bridge' Label below to see more from this series.


  1. Another fine work of art David!
    I love your cityscapes! They bring back many fond memories of my childhood in East Boston, Massachusetts. You capture the pulse of the city extremely well. Great emotion in your work. Bravo!

  2. Wonderful! I love the palette and the geometry in this piece!

  3. Thank you Michael,
    I am always happy to hear my work has elicited some memories for someone. I too have my own tied to them.

    Thank you Belinda,
    This palette is a staple for me. The geometry of the industrial landscape is one of the things I respond to.

    Hope you both have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!