Wayside, January 29, 2010


I’m posting one of my earliest “adventurous” watercolors.  This is my first train attempt,  first attempt at rendering bricks,  first attempt at rendering a row of shops in linear perspective, first attempt at rendering window glass reflections, first attempt at rendering broken asphalt, heck–I guess the entire composition is a first.  I learned from many, many mistakes.  The most heartbreaking thing was painting the train first, on white paper, and seeing it “pop” out in scintillating detail, only to watch it subsequently “disappear” as I put in the background and foreground.  Students daily laughed as they walked past my work station, saying, “Hey! Where’s the train?  Where did it go?”  I learned from this painting to leave the sky alone, if it doesn’t immediately yield what you want–don’t just keep re-doing it, darker and darker.  Can’t change that.  Aside from the sky and the disappearing train, I was O.K. with it, and ready to experiment further with trains.

The site is Eureka, Missouri, west of St. Louis on historic Route 66.  I had taken quite a few pictures of the old town’s intersections with a 35mm camera.  I lifted the old “F” diesel from a magazine somewhere (I was a real railroad enthusiast).  The two freight cars were two separate photos I had taken (I was shooting trains everywhere I could find them and collecting the photos in a file box).

We always have more compositions in our head than we can seem to find time to commit to paintings.  But I really wish to paint more small-town paintings such as this, with crossing trains–that is one of my favorite views and memories of growing up in Midwest America.  Perhaps this will be the year that it happens.

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3 Responses to “Wayside, January 29, 2010”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    For a painting full of firsts you did very well. The disappearing train story brought to mind something Irina is always saying – paint all over the painting, don’t complete one section at a time. She has told us we will have a problem like the one you mentioned but it really hits home when you can see it. Thank you for sharing this.


  2. lesliepaints Says:

    I like the eerie feel of this. I feel like I’m walking into a story while viewing it.


  3. Thinking « Leslie White Says:

    […] learning to look at art through a more abstract vision.  I am meeting new artist bloggers here and here and here. I have read a poem that touched me here and creative writing that moved me […]


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