Why I Paint
I paint because I want to create color interpretations of Britain's steam railways that are now only seen in black and white photographs. I paint to:
Capture railway scenes that my grandparents, parents and relatives might have seen.
Inject personal touches where appropriate.
Feel as though I am actually there, allowing my gaze to look all over my view, noticing details wherever I look.
I paint scenes set primarily in the 1920s and 30's because:
They contain the best of Victorian and Edwardian railway locomotive, rolling stock and architectural designs.
I find the new railway designs of the 1920s and 1930s paricularly graceful and appealing.
I think the colors of those times were particularly rich in an understated way.
I paint because the work of past and present artists, writers and craftsmen inspires me:
Railway artists including: - Victor K. Welch, Jack Hill, Terence Cuneo, George F. Heiron, Don Breckon, Malcolm Root and Philip Hawkins.
Railway Photographers including: - Eric Treacy, Gordon Hepburn and Henry Casserley are prominent.
Writers, editors, archivists and publishers who use great images in railway books and magazines including: - Ian Allan, Brian Stephenson, Brian Haresnape, David Jenkinson, Siegfried Becket and George Dow.
Ready-to-run model railway manufacturers such as Bachmann Branchlines and Hornby.
Model railway kit-building specialists, which includes a great friend, John J. Prescott.
I paint to improve my painting method so that each succeeding painting looks even more "right" at every level.
I paint back to front, painting the details to place them before I paint the body of my subjects
I return to the details to make their size, shapes and colors the way I want them.
After the paint has dried, I look at the whole painting to see if I need to return to any area to improve the color balance, sharpen or improve the shape of a particular area or detail.
Such an inefficient painting process adds greatly to the texture of my paintings - They look "solid".
I paint because I have research tools available that give me a flavor of what the railways of the 1920s and 1930s really looked like:
Other artists' representations of the steam railway age.
The best of the few surviving (dufay) color railway photographs taken during the era, published by Atlantic Transport Publications in the book "The Big Four in Color, 1935 - 1950" written by the late, great David Jenkinson.
An authoritative presentation of the colors and liveries of the total railway scene of the era published by Ian Allan Ltd in the book "Railway Liveries, 1923 - 1947" written by the late, great Brian Haresnape.
The color-rich liveries of locomotive and rolling stock models in my collection.
All of this provides a never-ending source of inspiration for starting a new painting every year.