|8/28/13 Platinum Carbon ink, watercolor, Zig markers, Stillman & Birn sketchbook|
After I finished my sketch of the Sri Chinmoy memorial, I climbed the stairs to the Fremont Bridge. This bridge, with its fascinating opening drawbridge and equally fascinating “language” of honks signaling when the bridge will give way to boats, opens an average of 35 times a day. Ponti Seafood Grill, one of my favorite restaurants, has a deck with a great view of the bridge, and it’s fun to have drinks or dinner out there on a warm summer night, watching the drawbridge go up and down.
As a sketch subject, though, I’ve always been intimidated by that bridge. Although it’s not as complex or architecturally elaborate as some local bridges, it still has perspective issues, and so many things can go wrong. . . But as I marched up the stairs, I channeled Inma in Barcelona and remembered her suggestion to focus on the part of a building or structure that interests and engages me – and let the rest go. And what interests me most about the Fremont Bridge? That whimsical artwork (by Fremont glass artist Rodman Miller) of Rapunzel locked in the bridge’s tower.
So I first focused on Rapunzel’s tower, and then I became interested in the shadows on the bike/pedestrian path. And then I realized the bridge wasn’t so bad after all.