Setting Sun on the Bridge Site 18 x 24 oil on canvas, in private collection
This was my first effort out at the site. My vantage point was the adjacent 10th Avenue Bridge on the downstream side. The wide walkway/bikeway ended up filling up with a regular audience to the spectacle.
Red Crane, Yellow Crane, Blue Crane 18 x 24 oil on canvas
I was channeling George Bellows when I painted this scene. It told me there was a lot to chew on at this location. Scale, drama, color, and pure composition. In private collection.
Piles of Dirt: The Bridge Site from the West Bank 18 x 24 oil on canvas
I befriended a University student who lived in an adjacent high rise to get this view. He had watched me paint the day before, lamenting that he had always wanted to be an art major (not that the religiously modern University painting faculty would ever consider teaching him anything remotely like my representational art). This angle showed the tilt of the bridge’s roadbed because of it’s curve heading across the river. Mostly, I was interested in the differing nature of the dirt piles vs. the primary-colored cranes. In private collection
Glare on the River 18 x 24 oil on canvas
Nocturne: Last Fill 10 x 8 oil on panel, in private collection
This was the last segment to be inserted, completing the span. The crew had a bit of a ceremony and it was all very moving. From the clearing of the wreckage after the collapse, to this, the whole project was done in about a year. Amazing what can be done if everyone works together.
Security, 12 x 16 oil on panel
This was one of the security gates around the perimeter of the construction site. The attendant wouldn’t let me on the grounds to paint, which was his job, but his real task was to keep the hastily built wooden “Keep Out” sign standing in the wind. A fruitless task. After while, he just let it stay down.
Casting a Segment 18 x 24 oil on canvas
Sunrise on the Bridge’s East Side (unfinished) 18 x 36 oil on canvas. In private collection
Big Ben 16 x 12 oil on panel
Big Ben is the name of the immense crane doing the heavy lifting. It was mounted on a barge that had two tugboats on the downstream side running 24/7 for the entirety of the project. Like defensive linemen in football, their job was to not move, or, to keep the barge in place against the powerful current. Out of view are two huge chains attached to the front two corners of the barge that spooled to tighten or loosen depending on which way they needed the barge to move. With links the size of my forearm, the sound of them winding up was like fingernails on a blackboard times a tillion.
In the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society
Flying a Segment 16 x 12 oil on panel
Flying is the term the crew used to hoist each segment into position.
Backstage 20 x 12 oil on panel
Possible Rain 12 x 16 oil on panel
Flying Cable 24 x 18 oil on canvas, in private collection
Cantilever Above the Lock 12 x 20 oil on panel, in private collection
It just didn’t make visual sense. As the span got longer, the weight of the thing defied gravity. If not for the frequency of retired engineers living in the nearby condos lecturing me on “post tension concrete” I would never have understood. Not that I really do now. But Google it, maybe you’ll get it.
Laying Pavement at the On-Ramp 12 x 20 oil on panel, in private collection
I spent most of a night painting this. As the machines crept along, I moved my easel backwards foot by foot until they joined University Avenue early in the morning. Parts of the crew enjoyed watching the progress of my work as they paused for a few minutes before their part of the job was needed. One of the guys in the florescent vests standing in the deep shadow was enjoying his first day back on the job. He was one of the road crew atop the bridge doing resurfacing work when it collapsed, breaking his back.
Details 36 x 18 oil on canvas
Morning Mist on the River 18 x 36 oil on canvas, in private collection
Cones 10 x 8 oil on panel
No highway or major road construction would be complete without these babies.