Paint Schoodic

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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Finding what you're not looking for

An old bridge abutment at Bushnell's Basin... where "moth and rust" have already destroyed man's handiwork.
Today was my second day walking along the Erie Canal in search of painting sites. It wasn’t as pleasant as yesterday; it was hotter and muggier. Other than the bridge abutment at Bushnell’s Basin (which I’ve painted before), the stretch I chose had little shade and almost no notable features. I turned around and headed home thirsty and rather tapped out.

Rust along an expansion joint on I-490 bridge over Erie Canal at Pittsford. Yikes!
 Unlike the rocks and sky, iron structures are not impervious to time. I’m obviously not an engineer, but I do know that rust is the great leveler here in the northeast, so we dutiful homeowners make a point of keeping our paintwork up. One hopes that our government does the same thing, of course.

It looks poetic as hell, but that's not what I'm looking for in a bridge I drive on almost daily.

This bridge carries I-490 across the Erie Canal. I’ve walked under a lot of bridges along the Erie Canal—including bridges that are now lost forever in memory—and this is the worst-looking one I’ve ever seen. Yet I-490 is probably the most-traveled road in the Rochester metropolitan area.


Another view of corrosion on the underside of the bridge.
So this isn’t an artistic question, but a practical one: my skills are limited to observing and describing the world. I’ve no idea how one goes about fixing it, but I sure hope someone out there does. Any suggestions?

OK, he's cute and paintable, but kind of far away from the canal bank.
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