Girl on a Train Gouache Painting
Have you ever stood on train tracks and wondered where this path would take you? Down through the plains, into the mountains, along the ocean, you would go. You’d see your city, state, country the way it really is. Slowly making your way through the lands so that you can paint a picture in your mind of what the world around you is truly like.
That’s the magic of trains. The slow form of travel we often forget about. And yet, we’re all still drawn to it. It’s like there’s a piece of our ancestors hidden inside of us and when we touch moments of the past they come out to remind us of the glory of old. How things done slower and with intention will always mean more than the fast way of getting it done.
I have a photograph in my office that’s the same photograph I grew up looking at in my living room. It’s of my father walking along the train tracks. Taken in black and white as a school project when he was in high school, it’s one of those pieces I’ve always loved. The leading lines of the tracks. The familiar frame of my father. The moodiness of a black and white photo makes me question where he’s going. What path is he on and where will it lead. Will there be adventures? Problems to solve, people to meet, and a love to find?
That’s what trains do for us. They take us back to a simpler time. They slow down our travels and allow space for adventure and curiosity. Even in simply painting a girl on a train I was taken on my own adventure. I have no idea where she’s going if she’s setting off or returning home. I don’t know what she’s looking for or hoping to find. What I do know is she’s on a journey, the kind that we’re all on. And so in a way this girl on a train is you, it’s me, on the journey of life. Slowly taking in what’s around us, here for the ride, hoping to find a story to tell along the way.