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Fort Worth Railyard

December 20, 2011

Fort Worth Railyard, 8x10, Gouache

Fort Worth, Texas – Since moving to the RV Park in Roanoke, our routes are a bit different.  Now, when heading south, instead of passing through Dallas, we go through Fort Worth.  Going south on Interstate 35, we passed over part of the Fort Worth & Western Railroad Yard.  It was around 8:30 in the morning with bits of clouds spread across a blue sky.

I don’t get a lot of time for these shots from the freeway, so a lot depends on an instinct that has been developing over the last few years, an instinct for “the seventy mile per hour shot”.  Many, many of my best paintings have arisen out of “seventy mile per hour shots”, taken out the passenger window with only a fraction of a second for the scene to register, the camera to go up, and the shot to be taken.  The reference for this little painting was one of those shots.

Railroad yards are not part of my painting repertoire, but the composition that registered in my brain, with the parallel lines of the railroad cars, the colors, and the various towers and structures fading into the distance, all of that said “Shoot!”  As we rolled on down the highway, I figured it was a wasted shot, but these days, there really are no wasted shots with a digital camera.

And so, in keeping with the intent behind “Back Roads and Brushes”, I ended up with a nice little gouache snapshot from the weekend trip to Austin.  I’ve been recording things I’ve glimpsed along the highways for several years now, but they normally tend to be little gulleys, creeks, roads, clumps of trees, and old barns.  For quite a while now, I’ve realized that I’m setting myself up for a lot of new experiences, especially in terms of painting.  So, along with the pleasant little landscape scenes I’ve been doing for a while now, I’ll start trying to record other things that aren’t part of my norm, but are part of the American landscape that we see out the window as we travel.

It’ll be fun.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Yorky permalink
    December 20, 2011 7:44 pm

    First of a new breed Ralph. It works for me.


  2. Claire permalink
    December 20, 2011 8:03 pm

    I like this a lot! It’s always enjoyable to see what you have found on your journeys, Ralph!

  3. December 20, 2011 8:28 pm

    love it, used to do snaps of the Jersey City train yards and the Path Depot.

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