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Of Railways and Locomotives: Three Train Paintings by Richard Picton

Ah, trains. . . there’s something incredibly appealing about these massive machines which, although tied to the tracks, still rhythmically pound their way across miles and miles of countryside.

If you’re a fan of locomotive art, then look no further than Richard Picton’s paintings of railways, engines, and train stations. Based in the United Kingdom, Picton’s love of locomotive history shines through in nearly every painting he creates.

For example, this next piece shows a “King” class locomotive made for hauling passengers at high speeds. According to the artist’s website, only 30 were ever made.

King Edward VI by Richard Picton

As you can see, Picton focused primarily on the tracks in the foreground and the details of the bullet-shaped engine itself, while letting the surrounding landscape simply fade in the foggy distance.

This, of course, pulls our attention right to the front of the train, where it should be.

If there’s a theme to Picton’s work (other than locomotives) I think it’d be found in the connection between machinery and nature.

Picton’s trains are seen emerging from tunnels, wrapping around hillsides, or pulling through a heavy bank of fog—in other words, they’re one with the land; a part of the scenery, for better or worse.

The Merthyr Tunnel by Richard Picton

I love how the hills in the painting above—entitled Merthyr Tunnel—are in full bloom, with dappled sunlight falling on both tracks and ground.

On the other hand, the not-so-verdant hills seen below in South Wales Coal Train might reflect the damage done by mining and pollution. . . or perhaps it’s just from the heat of summer.

South Wales Coal Train by Richard Picton

Besides the railway imagery, it’s obvious that Richard Picton is an exemplary landscape painter as well. To see more of his work, please take a moment to check out his online gallery and browse around—it’s definitely worth a visit!

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This week's featured artist is Maria Serafina, a painter originally from New York who now lives and works in Italy. All of Maria's paintings contain beautiful textures and impeccable lighting. Most notably, by alternating her use of warm pinks and creams with cool whites, Maria gives a clear. . . read more

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