The problem with the Big River paintings for me was the intensity of the colors. They are bright and bold, a direction I can’t help but go in once I strike it. Most of my watercolors have been bright and colorful from the beginning. I think this is because it took me soooo long to make something other than mud with watercolors, that when I got the hang of mixing and transparencies and whatnot, it was such a miracle to create crisp colors it’s just become the standard. I noted before, however, that that’s not my taste in art. I did finally feel comfortable enough with the medium to create labored colors without losing integrity in the brick wall paintings, so I wanted to go back and reconsider that approach.
The train paintings are the perfect subject for this. They are grimy in their appearance already, so it becomes a matter of creating that filth with color. The previous charcoal drawing captures the dirt in a way not obvious for watercolor, but I began to try. This is an early attempt at developing the subject with a worn color palette. This one makes me happy. Spontaneous, nice but dirty colors, snappy lines. I still have to resolve painting the “trucks” (that’s what us brakemen call the wheel carriages), but I left the one on the right hazy. One of my favorite parts of the painting.
This one will see a frame one day I predict.