Feature Friday: Love Locked on the Bridge by Mary Jennings

Love Locked

A year ago I finally got to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn, New York.  I go to New York City quite a few times and love to walk the city.  I love the long and fully stimulating journeys I am able to make time for during my visits to the big city.  They are one of a kind and have such positive lasting effects. My bridge walk was a on a cold and windy day in January.  I thought this could be an advantage with regard to the number of people on the bridge.  While it was not crowded, it still had quite a few people enjoying their walk over the bridge with me.

There are plenty of helps with directing your placement  and direction during the walk.  It was also under construction or is that a constant.  I met my dear long-time friend and we started on our journey.  She has lived in Brooklyn for several years and kindly agreed to experience this with me.  She was able to point out different points of interest as we made our way across the bridge.  While I was thankful for her guidance, as I would have missed so many important sights, I was looking for the special things that the average viewer would miss, either on purpose or by lack of observation.  With "good" camera in frozen hand, I was careful not to miss a thing.

About one-third of our way across, I noticed pad-locks, combination lock and even luggage locks in very useless places.  I remember looking at one for quite a long time thinking to myself, "I hope this tiny lock isn't holding the whole bridge together."  Upon making our way to the midpoint of the bridge, we knew there was some research to do when we got home.

What was up with all these locks?  Whose initials are those etched on the locks?  Why locks? Why the Brooklyn Bridge?

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As soon as I got back to my computer and thawed my fingers out enough to type, I found out that this was a tradition among lovers.  They show up at the bridge, place the open lock on a spot on the bridge, lock it and through away the key.  With great ceremony, they key gets tossed over the side of the bridge into the deep waters of the East River.  There love is forever locked.  I'm sure there is a super romantic kiss involved in the ceremony.  So sweet.

I also read that this is not exclusive to the Brooklyn Bridge, but can also be seen on the oldest bridge in Paris and I think one in Italy.

I was locked into the idea of creating a series of paintings that captured the essence of what this bridge has meant to so many couples.

This is a green response.  No fish or fishermen have been hurt be flying keys from above.  It's also longer lasting.  When I was on the bridge, the locks were sparse in comparison to what I saw in the article I read.  I found out that the crew responsible for bridge renovation, cut all the locks off and disposed of them in some fashion.


I hope you have connected to my story.  When I am feeling all lovey dovey, I will make more of these pieces.   At present, they are still in progress.  I'm excited about their creation and envision them in the hands and homes of many happy couples as a reminder of the crazy, sticky sweet we do when we are in love.  sigh.  You can look at detailed photos of the series individually in my Etsy Shop: maryjenningsart

When my husband supports my art and my artistic passion, I lock up those moments and throw away the key.

Feature Friday: One Painting, Many Stories "Ascend" by Mary Jennings


"Upward"Oil on Canvas12"x12"x2" In most cases, a painting has many sources of inspiration behind it’s creation.  It’s always important for an artist to share those stories with the viewer in order to deepen their experience of the art.

This particular piece of work, “Ascend” has a story for it’s creation and even more of a story after it’s creation.

I happen to love looking up (and down) spiral staircases.  I love the design and the craftsmanship as well as the destination in sight.  They afford you with your end in sight as you are going up.  Kinda nice to know when you are out of breath.  I am always out of breath.

Visiting the Arc de Triumph, Paris, France.

Looking up in the Arc de Triumph

This particular painting of a spiral was inspired by the view up the stairs leading to the top of the Arc de Triumph in Paris, France.  With every echoing step upwards, I was thinking about the history behind this small journey I was currently enjoying.

The day I finished the work, it was sitting wet in my studio when a visitor came by and was overtaken with the desire to touch it.  She was devastated that she had smudged some purple on the side of the freshly painted work.  I told her not to worry, the smudge gave it even more character.

“Ascend” has also been published with an article by Rev. Dean Miller of The Falls Church Anglican in Northern Virginia.  Here is the perfectly pared article in The Current, Nov-Dec. 2012 issue p.22. Note the name change of the art in this ARTicle to protect the innocent (I guess).

For a small 12”x12”x2”, oil on canvas painting, this work (for sale on sure has quite a story to tell.....and climb.

I would love your feedback on my art in the comments below.  You are welcome to share this post or my etsy shop with a friend.  I would love to have my art and their stories passed around and even owned.