Bay Area artist Donald Neff paints Drawbridge in plein air
Drawbridge has been on my list from almost the start of this quest [to do one painting each week throughout the year 2014 of the Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley]. I painted it from across Coyote Slough. How great it was to be way out in the marshlands with only the sounds of the tide going out and an occasional waterfowl winging by! I probably spent as much time just sitting there soaking the environment as painting. ~Donald Neff
Oil painting of Drawbridge, California by Donald Neff. Photo courtesy Donald Neff. Copyright Donald Neff.
Donald Neff, a Bay Area resident and self-taught painter, took a tour of the ghost town of Drawbridge, CA on Saturday August 23, 2014 with Ceal Craig, long time volunteer at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and also member of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Society. Donald's description of how he painted a forgotten part of the Bay Area is recounted on his blog.
Donald maintains a map of each spot that he has painted throughout the Bay Area and has a Pinterest catalog of all his paintings so far. He hopes to host an exhibition of all his paintings once his quest is complete.
Map of locations painted by Donald Neff. Screenshot courtesy Google Maps. Copyright CC BY NA 3.0.
Catalog of paintings by Donald Neff. Screenshot courtesy Pinterest. Copyright CC BY NA 3.0.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts a Drawbridge Van Excursion led by Ceal Craig on a periodic basis. Nestled on an island in the salt marshes of South San Francisco Bay, the town of Drawbridge once boomed and is abandoned today.
Attendees meet at the Environmental Education Center, 1751 Grand Blvd. in Alviso, to start with a slideshow of the town’s history before making the trip to view it across Coyote Creek. Attendees do not visit the town itself. Tour guide Ceal Craig takes attendees to the closest spot that one can legally view Drawbridge through spotting scopes at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
If you are interested in a tour of Drawbridge, the Wildlife Society has another coming up on Saturday September 13, 2014 from 9:30 pm to 12:00 pm.
The program is intended for adults and space is very limited. Reservations are essential. For more information call Julie at 408-262-5513 extension 104.
You may read more about Drawbridge in Drawbridge, CA Re-turning the Tide by US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Drawbridge: A Ghost Town Revisited by John Steiner, Tideline Fall 2003.