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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.
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.
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.
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!