I was working on this series of paintings of the Gervais Street Bridge during the floods around Columbia in October 2015. It was surreal to be working with earlier photos of the Riverwalk while the TV stations were showing that area under 20 feet of brown water and debris.
After a couple of days of those horrifying images, I wanted to focus on the strength of the bridge and hope for recovery. I chose to experiment with seeing in a different way by reversing values from a previous composition, light in place of dark and dark in place of light. For the color scheme, I used colors that follow the values… yellow for the lights and purple for the darks. Blue-greens and red-purples form the middle values.
Because the values were reversed from the reference composition, I felt free to abandon local color and construct a different color scheme. The changes in both value and color give this piece more of a fantasy look. It appears to be a sunny autumn morning with light coming in from the right side, but there is enough departure from reality to add mystery. I also felt that the yellow color scheme symbolized sunny days after the flood.