This fall my friend Joshua Cunningham was the poster winner for the Saint Paul Art Crawl. He won with a fantastic painting of some tanker cars in early morning light. I love the painting and it reminded me that my earliest memories are of drawing trains on the giant blackboard in the back of my Mom's beauty shop. I was probably 4 or 5. I wanted to be a railroader like my dad. I've always loved watching trains. I had thought about painting the train cars in this location for a couple of years but was not very confident in my ability to get the tracks right. Talking with Joshua, I learned that that was a challenge for him as well. He talked about painting beyond his comfort level. I thought about that for a few days. I realized I was avoiding certain subjects because I was afraid I might fail. That's not good at all if one hopes to improve one's skills. So here you go, my first railroad painting since 1956. By the way, "T56" on the upper right of the freight car stands for "Tom 1956" - a bit of a nod to myself at age 4.
Sigh - no more swimming from this beach until next year. Still I love coming here after Labor Day. The sky and water colors are so rich, there's just a hint of change in the leaves and the undergrowth is like a dried floral arrangement.
We hope to see you this weekend at the Saint Paul Art Crawl. Go to www.artcrawl.org for more info. This painting was updated/revised 11/1/10