This painting was started at the R&F pigment stick workshop I attended in November 2009. Right outside the studio where class was held were some active freight train tracks, which I have to admit, I found really exciting. Freight trains were common when I was growing up, but now I rarely see them wending through New England towns. I started the painting in response to the trains. There were tracks and wheels and boxcars and so forth, but I was unhappy with the outcome.
Later, back in my own studio, I scraped away at it , reworked it, letting go of the image of the trains and just getting into the material of the paint. I experimented with heating the paints in places and watching the colors run.
By loosening my attachment to the image of trains, I feel like I got closer the the feel of trains: the motion, the noise and vibration, the corrosion of the metal surfaces, the landscapes the trains travel through. It is not a pretty painting, but then, freight trains aren't really "pretty" either.
This piece measures 16x20 and is on canvas
Next, I launched into this piece. It is on gessoed paper that measures 18x24.
It is an imaginary flight over some kind of neighborhood. There are rooftops and parcels of lawn, maybe a pool of water or maybe just sidewalks. Don't get bogged down in being too literal. It is that jumble of colors and textures of an unplanned community viewed from a vantage point that was not considered as the structures and space evolved.