Locomotives in Fall Colors, Grand Saline, Texas

Grand Saline UP and GATX in Fall Colors

One day after the Mineola Holiday Bazaar, I find myself decompressing (still pretty exhausted from the return trip and unloading all my freight late last night) and trying to finish this watercolor sketch I began yesterday afternoon.  The fall foliage back-dropping the bright road colors of this pair of diesels I found very striking on an early autumn morning last weekend.  I’m glad the fall finally has arrived (although a dreary one, color-wise–I made up some of the colors in this composition, recalling the vistas I enjoyed last year).  I hope to get in plenty of plein air activity this year.

Railroads have held my attention since childhood.  The bright color schemes fascinated me as a small boy.  They still do, of course, but I also find myself musing over where these huge diesels pull their freight daily, weekly, annually.  I always wondered about what the railroad crew got to see as they road the rails across this country.  I know there has to be the issue of boredom and bone-weary stretches of miles over time, but still, I would love to see American from the perspective of the rails.  And so, every time I’m driving in my Jeep and I look up to see a sight like this, I am filled with wonder and wanderlust.

In a few days, I’ll leave for Galveston, Texas for a four-day conference.  I’m not sure if I’ll have time or space to create art over that time span, but I’ll soon find out.  Meanwhile, I’ll try to push out another watercolor sketch or two in the next couple of days before I leave for that trip.  Incidentally, this watercolor sketch measures 12 x 16″, was done on a watercolor block (D’Arches 140-lb. cold press), using Winsor and Newton watercolors and Prismacolor watercolor pencils.  I’m enjoying this blend of materials for creating quick sketches.

Thanks for reading.

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7 Responses to “Locomotives in Fall Colors, Grand Saline, Texas”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    I really like the composition in this piece, David, allowing me a peak but not the full view of either locomotive. The color grabs my attention right away!


    • davidtripp Says:

      I appreciate your saying that, Leslie. The intense colors of the locos, backed by the fall foliage, made me jerk my Jeep to the roadside and spring out to take pictures, I was that captivated. I really wanted to attempt a sketch of this one. Thanks for looking, and commenting.


  2. Kate Says:

    I don’t usually check out blogs, but stumbled on your work through my interest in William Carlos Williams, art and his “no ideas but in things”. I am a Brit who loves the American-ness of Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens. I just want to say there is such a quality in your watercolours. In subject matter and what I perceive as “America” – love the idea of seeing it from the railroad perspective.


    • davidtripp Says:

      Kate, thank you for your reply. It is a genuine pleasure to hear from someone who appreciates the contributions of Williams and Stevens. And thanks for looking at my work and posting such affirming remarks. I love the “American” quality of WCW’s poems, and particularly the images evoked by his arrangements of words.


  3. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Very nice work. I love combining different materials…starting with watercolor and refining with watercolor pencils or even colored pencils. I’m always striving to learn and try something different. It’s part of the joy of creating.


  4. Foghorn The IKonoclast Says:

    I really love those trains.. memories of travels


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