One of the nice things about being a professional artist is being asked to paint a particular scene for someone, in other words a commission. Over the years I’ve undertaken quite a few paintings of subjects that I would never have dreamed of tackling normally, so there’s an added excitement, or terror, when one comes along.
At my December Open Studio, a lady asked me to paint a view of the locomotive ‘Mallard’ for her husband who is a steam enthusiast. Quite challenging, because it’s got to be ‘right’ and I did a good deal of research before starting work. But I felt that the end result gave a good feel of steam and power, as the Mallard leaves York southbound for King’s Cross. I used the original LNER colour scheme for the loco and carriages, so this sets the scene at around 1938 or 39.
This great locomotive, which still holds the world speed record for steam, is on show in the York Railway Museum, but I was fortunate in being able to find some useful photographs as my reference, to avoid a long research trip!