Alexandra Bridge

I’ve always been intrigued by bridges. I don’t know what it is about them, but I find them fascinating. I remember going to Paris, and my most vivid memory is not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, but rather going for a boat ride down the Seine River and going under at least 20 different bridges. The architecture of each one was so intricate and so different.

Some of the bridges along the Seine River

Ottawa is kind of similar in that regard. There are countless bridges that go over the Rideau Canal, and then several more that connect Ottawa to Gatineau. When I go for a run outside, I usually follow the path behind the parliament building, which then takes me into Gatineau. The last stretch of this loop goes over the Alexandra Bridge back into Ottawa. The view at this point is incredible. You see the locks along the canal, the back of the parliament building, and the Chateau Laurier.  It’s truly majestic. I’m pretty sure I usually have a ‘Runner’s High’ by this point too, so that probably makes me like it even more.

This painting is intended to be the first in a small series of paintings of bridges. Ideally, I’d like to do them ‘en pleine air’ […atrist speak for painting outside…] however it is too cold right now, so I worked from a photograph instead.

Photograph of Alexandra Bridge
Oil on Canvas – 12×12″ – I started by priming the canvas with a background of deep reds and purples. Then added some guidelines with chalk.
Then I started to build the bridge and add some blues to the water.
I added some more details to the bridge, like the side walk and the lines on the road.
I added the truss to the bridge.

The finished product!

Zoomed in view of the bridge. I painted all the detailed parts with acrylic paint since it dries faster so the colours wouldn’t mix too much.
Recognize the building in the background? It’s the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Although this painting isn’t all that big, it took a ridiculously long time to paint. In fact, I started this one mid-summer (however, it went untouched for at least 3 months after I initially began…) and only finished it today. The detail work takes a long time, especially since I’m a perfectionist, so I kept going back and redoing parts. I’m glad it’s done though. However, I’ll probably still go back and touch it up a few times…

Do you prefer realistic paintings or more abstract works?

I personally don’t like paintings that look too realistic, both from myself and other artists. I like when it is obvious that it is a painting, and not a photograph or a digital drawing. I like globs of paint, smears and smudges. I like having to take a step back to make out the image. Therefore, this is definitely not my favorite painting, but I like what it represents.

I already know what bridge is next in the series. I’ll give you a hint. If you go skating along the Rideau Canal, you will go under it near downtown. Any ideas?

 

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4 thoughts on “Alexandra Bridge

  • November 8, 2012 at 11:49 pm
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    Like it. Can’t wait for next one.

    Reply
    • November 9, 2012 at 7:30 am
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      Thank you! But don’t hold your breath…this one took 5 months from beginning to end so the next one might not be around for awhile…

      Reply
    • April 6, 2016 at 8:39 pm
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      Hi Intiaz,
      Yes, for sure! I just added a link. I’m really sorry – I had no idea who the owner of the picture was. Glad you found me. Great shot by the way!

      Reply

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