Saturday, December 17, 2011
"BNSF Flooded Road" SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
6” x 8” (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
Two of my favorite subjects, trains and rain.
A BNSF locomotive slogging through the rain near the top of the Cajon pass headed to the high desert in Southern California. Rounding the bend in a heavy rainstorm as shown by the flooded road in the foreground. An autumn scene with just a hint of orange trees showing through the fog.
The train, somewhat inconsequential within the composition and placed high in the picture plane, gives it a feeling of isolation and puts more emphasis on the landscape. But while that is true the lines of the landscape still all lead to the train.
With two thirds of the composition being foreground/middle ground this demanded the road have a strong design. The foreground and middle ground get divided by the rain water washing over the road. Each share similar angular shapes but vary enough in shape and size to keep them from becoming boring. It's really about avoiding design 'twins' and breaking up the larger mass into smaller supporting ones. That also allows for the recession of space, leading the eye through the weather to the locomotive.
For the engineer, this must be the most solitary part of their job, which is what this painting is about.
The design and the weather itself both serve as vehicles to that idea, instead of the primary subject. The smallness of the train against the larger landscape and the isolating nature of stormy weather.157
Click on images for larger view