Old Railroad Bridge

This large oil painting was commissioned by a collector in Baltimore.  He and his wife like to walk their dogs across an historic railroad bridge through a wooded valley.  I visited the remote locale and worked from life, as usual racing against the constantly shifting shadows and trying to make a virtue out of a somewhat unaesthetic subject, a hulking metal bridge.  

Heavy impasto on the stonework of the bridge and on the rusted ironwork is made to contrast with extreme thinness of the paint in the shadow areas.  I think a lot about surfaces, varying them between thick and thin, smooth and rough, within each painting.  This is one of the great virtues of painting in oil, the command the artist enjoys over surface qualities.