Imagine a man
50 stories above the city streets, perched on scaffolding, dressed
in overalls and a hardhat, with a paintbrush in his hand. He is
not painting the walls of a newly built skyscraper; he is painting
a canvas with his interpretation of the city before him. It
could be lunch time or late in the afternoon, when most of the crew
has left the structure forming beneath them, but whatever time of
day, the task is the same: capture as much of the feel and the sights
of the "high steel" as possible before the sun bids adieu
to the grand structure that consumes his day.
The man I describe
is Bernhard Berntsen and the work he is involved with is the building
of some of our great American cities. All the while he captures
the sights of his job with oil paints and grease pencil drawings.
in his painting career, Berntsen painted scenes mostly from the
construction sites ("Steel Girders") where he worked and
from the daily life around him.
after he began painting, his eye turned to the equestrian world.
("Steeplechases") There are those who will be remembered
for their contributions to science and progress, those who captured
a moment in time or an idea through the arts, and those who made
a lasting impression on our spirits as humanitarians. Bernhard Berntsen
will be remembered for all of these things.
Whether he was
helping to build one of the great skyscrapers of New York City or
putting the final touches on an oil painting on a Saturday afternoon,
Berntsen was making impressions that last to this day. He was also
making lasting impressions on the people he met along the way. He
had a love of life and a love of people that spanned most of the