Rocket Train


Rocket Train
24" x 30", mixed media on gallery canvas

This painting sits within my field of vision as a sit at my desk in Birdsong Studio. It is an abstract project that I did using an unfinished or repurposed canvas as part of my 52 Week Painting Challenge in support of Bracelets For Buildings, a charity that builds homes for the very poor in rural Cambodia.  

There are four ways of viewing this painting with each orientation connecting to a portion of those who explore the question of which way it should hang.  Some see a sailboat. Others see tall buildings and a crane.  Some see just shapes, colours and textures.  I only see my childhood.

I called this painting "Rocket Train" because in a very ethereal foggy way, that is what I see and what I feel.  The blinding speed of the engine, colours synonymous with my memory of countless train trips, and the blurred landscape through frosty windows in the dead of winter.  I see the mystery of the train cresting over the horizon or around the bend as us children crane our necks trying to get first glimpse of the engine, suitcases piled up on the platform, anticipating a great journey to the other side of the country.  

Rocket Train connects to my father, who worked on the railroad, and my mother, who stayed home and raised six children while Dad was in the caboose heading to places like Humboldt, Hudson's Bay or The Pas.  It connects to many trips I took with Dad when I was really young - each of us, in our turn, got to go on these magical working train trips. 

It reminds me of the incomprehensible anticipation of stepping onto the ladder that took us up to the engine, through the door and into the place where the engineer sat.  It was always special getting to meet the proverbial captain of the ship and explore the innards of the machine that could pull a chain of rail cars a mile long.  Super strength.  Invincible. 

The sale of "Rocket Train" will support our efforts to fund the construction of another home for a family across the world, inspiring smiles and hope for the future. You can be a part of that by bidding here: Birdsong Christmas Auction


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