trains and Railroad subjects

Jul 14

High Flying

In 1999 I was part of an exhibition of rail art at the California State Railroad Museum. At the event the director of the San Diego Railway Museum introduced himself and invited me visit their museum, suggesting I might get inspired to paint something there. I did, creating, “Shaking The Desert Floor” (see it on my website in the Print section). Last week I created a second painting that incorporates an exciting feature of that museum, a tall trestle. Naturally, I took liberties with the subject, but then I always do. It’s the challenge and reward of being an artist: creating things you first must imagine. In this case I added a vintage circa 1930s passenger train into the setting and adjusted all the elements to tell the most engaging story possible. 

Jul 14

Canyon Exposition

This work-in-progress pastel is my rendition of the pre-WWII Exposition Flyer, a scenic passenger train that cut through some of Colorado’s most beautiful terrain. I have it powering its way through a deep Colorado canyon. I’m still working my way through the scene–which is to say I’m working to create a convincing and dramatic view of canyon, fast-moving steam train, and smoke trail. I’ll blog the finished work in the days ahead.

Jul 14

Making tracks

I painted this late-day scene of a train crossing sometime back in the 1990s. Painted with acrylic colors using a watercolor technique on 300 lb. watercolor paper, I came across this work in a flat file last year. It had never been framed and exhibited. Evidently at the time I created it I thought it lacked something. I don’t see it that way now. In my loose brushwork I can easily recall the inspiration: a warm day transitioning from afternoon into evening. Such experiences are important, daily reminders of mortal conditions we can’t stop, only embrace. 

Jul 14

All aboard on the idea


In this small pastel study I’m playing with a colorful idea for a future railroad scene. The plan is to open up the cool, shadowed thicket of trees and show a warm, open meadow with a pre-WWII passenger train passing, receding in the direction of the sun.

Jan 14

Thundering, big “Big Boy”

Thundering Up A Frozen Mountain Pass and Steaming From The Rim

In the Fine Arts Building at the Los Angeles County Fair my artwork was exhibited in 1990. For three weeks I also demonstrated watercolor and pastel painting for the public. In one demonstration I created Steaming From The Rim, a pastel painting of engine 18 of the Grand Canyon Railway, which was preparing to take passengers to the South Rim from Williams, Arizona, and back. It was during this fair exhibition that I first examined Union Pacific 4014 “Big Boy,” then on display at the RailGiants exhibit on the Fairplex grounds. It was in the summer of the following year, while driving through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, that I imagined one of these 4-8-8-4 steam behemoths pulling freight over that mountainous terrain in the snow. Thundering Over a Frozen Mountain Pass was visualized and soon painted in my studio. That articulated engine, UP 4014, is now being moved and will be restored to service by Union Pacific in the next few years. I’m looking forward to experiencing that monster thundering past, but maybe not up to my chest in snow.

Thundering Up A Frozen Mountain Pass and Steaming From The Rim

To purchase the print of Thundering Up A Frozen Mountain Pass and Steaming From The Rim, click this link

Thundering Up A Frozen Mountain Pass and Steaming From The Rim

Detail of Thundering Up A Frozen Mountain Pass

Examine more of Brad’s work at Brad Faegre Fine Art