Painting is 10 1/2″ x 14 1/2″, framed to size of 16″ x 20″.

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A productive week of painting during my annual en plein air painting visit to Cranford, New Jersey.  Managed to get  a variety of subjects and even some work in a new medium, gouache.

I painted in Cranford first in 2010 as one of the artists included in the Cranford Paint the Town plein air painting event.  Cranford is bedroom community with many residents who commute to New York for work. The town is right on a New Jersey Transit commuter line. The rail line bisects the town and passes over a main north south avenue. The railway is supported by a sturdy steel structure.

Morning Down Under - watercolor plein air painting by Tony ConnerI’ve been attracted to this scene since first seeing it in 2010. There is an orderliness to the imposing steel structure.  Yet a surprising amount of light gets underneath, balancing the brute strength with illumination that is both strong and delicate.  I’ve painted underneath this bridge twice before – first in 2010 and again in 2012.

The subject is full of challenges for the artist.

First, it challenges ones draftsmanship, as it is complicated and requires accurate scale and proportion to create a credible scene.

Second, the amount light that finds its way into what one would expect to be a rather dark space adds to the challenge. Mostly, the light is indirect, ambient and “bounced” light which affects color and value in unusual ways.

On this particular morning, strong sunlight lit up the corner of the concrete abutment while a sliver of bright, direct sunlight found its way down through tracks and bridging above. These bright diagonals created both movement and contrast with the solid vertical structures.

This painting is currently on exhibit at The Artist Framer, 17 North Ave E, Cranford, New Jersey.