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Each original painting is carefully chosen from black and white photographs that inspire me. Most images have the locomotive and train as the dominant element. With a few paintings, I have experimented with creating a predominantly landscape or architectural painting.
For me, the background makes each painting:
This forces me to pay even more attention to the details, colors and texture of the locomotive and train, to make them stand out against an already satisfying background.
The "Patriot in Liverpool Lime Street Station" painting is unusual in that the sooty-grey color of the surrounding backgrounds does not contrast much with the locomotive's primarily black livery. So, I painted the background wall with gritty texture and subtly colored weathered streaks to provide contrast against the smooth, sunlight reflective surfaces of the locomotive and train. The gentle breath of translucent smoke rising from the locomotive's chimney makes the final difference. With that, the train "pops" against the background to provide as much of a 3-D effect that I can paint on a 2-D surface.
My painting "Weekday Cross" is primarily an architectural painting featuring an interesting locomotive based on a model in my collection at the center. As I continue to paint, my style has evolved:
I get just as much satisfaction from looking at my early paintings as I do looking at my later paintings. I am proud of them all.