Posts Tagged ‘freight train’

Kansas City Southern Railway Trackside shacks in Waxahachie, Texas

May 30, 2011

Kansas City Southern Railway Trackside in Waxahachie, Texas

The winds got up again this afternoon, making it difficult to paint and hold supplies in place.  But it also kept the heat from rising.  I found a tree that offered plenty of shade, and went to work on this trackside structure, stopping occasionally to allow passing freight trains to obstruct my view (one Kansas City Southern, one Union Pacific).  I painted this shack at last year’s Waxhachie Paint-Out, but this time decided to paint it larger (11 x 14 instead of 8 x 10) and incorporate more of the surrounding trees.  I did not time myself, but estimate that I had this one finished in less than 90 minutes.  Two paintings in one day has exhausted me.  School resumes tomorrow (one more week of it) and I will return to Waxahachie for a new plein air adventure as soon as that final bell rings!

Thanks for reading.


GATX freight, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

GATX Freight train, Burleson, Texas

I just wanted to post this one quickly for the blog.  I need to get back to work on the festival “stuff.”  It’s 9:12 p.m. and I have much to do still.  Hope you enjoy this GATX freight that I painted at the same location in Burleson (but I stayed a safe distance from the tracks this time!).

Getting Ready for an Art Festival, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

Southbound Union Pacific Freight

I have a three-day art festival beginning tomorrow (Friday) at Art in the Park Festival in Kennedale, Texas.  This afternoon, I have been a juggler with too many balls in the air.  Sixty-four postcards were mailed, and email strand was sent, and announcement was made to stuff over two hundred teacher mailboxes in the morning, I finished this small composition and a companion piece involving a GATX freight train in the same location.  I’m nearly finished with the Union Pacific #844 that I began a week ago.  I have printed several dozen 5 x 7″ greeting cards with my watercolors on the cover,  Oh yes, and I taught three different subjects today at school.  Hopefully tomorrow will be calmer after the festival gets underway (but first I have to teach three more classes, then dash to the park and set up my 10 x 10′ booth.  My wonderful wife will assist me in that, as she has also in a myriad of other details related to this festival.  How fortunate to have someone that committed to this enterprise.

Here is a southbound Union Pacific freight in Burleson, Texas that I began last month.  I recall, with amusement, that I had set up alongside a dual set of tracks, working on the structure in the distance, when I heard the whistle of the distant freight and scurried to get out my digital camera.  Thinking the train was on the far set of tracks, I stepped close to the tracks nearest me, and zoomed in on this freight and took the picture, so I could paint it in my studio later.  When I lowered the camera, I realized that the train was on the tracks right in front of me, and was highballing in my direction, closing the distance fast!  Stupid!

Union Pacific en Plein Air, March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

Southbound Union Pacific Freight

It was chilly in the late Texas afternoon, but I enjoyed some plein air activity at Lyndon Acres while my wife rode her horse.  I had photographed this southbound Union Pacific freight a few weeks ago while I was watercolor sketching in the old part of the town of Burleson.  The sky I laid in Friday night just before dark (and posted recently).  Yesterday afforded zero opportunities for painting as I had a day filled with errands and then Gallery Night was last night.  Happily, I sold a framed watercolor while there (on my website http://www.recollections54, titled New Mexico Road House).

I’ll be posting this watercolor in progress alongside an identical one featuring a GATX diesel leading the freight.  I’m trying to decide on how much finish work to do with these 8 x 10″ compositions.

Thank you for reading.

Evening by the Railroad Trestle, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

Railroad Trestle south of Division St. in Arlington, Texas

O.K., there is not much to look at yet, but plenty to discuss.  I have wanted to watercolor this location since last summer, and just now got around to it.  The location is just south of Division Street in west Arlington, Texas, near Rush Creek.  I have looked at this low-clearance trestle for several years, and only recently decided that I wanted to set up on location and photograph a Union Pacific freight as it passed over.  The posted picture represents the 35 minutes I was allowed before the sun set and I lost the light (6:23-6:58 p.m.).  I spent most of the time sketching out the overall composition, and continually erasing to get the subject on the paper the way I wished.  Not much time was allowed for the first series of watercolor washes.  But though the sketch is in its infant stages, I feel very strongly that this could translate into a strong little watercolor composition.

The train never came.  So I packed the gear back into my Jeep (as the light was too low to continue working) and wouldn’t you know–a Union Pacific freight blew by, high-ballin’, and I never heard it approach!  I was below the tracks, and the Division Street traffic was providing plenty of noise, and since there were no intersections nearby, there was no reason for the train to blow its whistle.  By the time I jerked the camera out of its bag, the locomotive had already cleared the trestle, and the following auto transport cars were not interesting enough to photograph.  Oh well.

I cannot describe what I feel when I am outside sketching with watercolor en plein air. I know that artists understand what I’m addressing.  It may surprise some to hear that I’m just as thrilled in such moments as I am when I’m standing in a Colorado mountain stream, fly fishing, waiting for a trout to rise.  Every pore of my flesh is tingling, as I am immersed in the sounds of babbling streams, feel the breeze in my face, smell the air, and hear the birds chirping and insects whirring in the tall grasses.  I felt all those sensations this evening.  The sun was setting low, the landscape was lighting up with the most amazing lemon yellow highlights in the wild grasses, the Division Street traffic was swishing high up behind me, birds lined the power lines, and I was in the element–totally immersed and contented.  It was the highlight of my day.

Thanks for reading.