Leaving York (again)

Leaving York (2)

I love trains. They have direction, volition, speed. They cut through the landscape which you are able to view in a way people never managed to do before the train was invented: as an endless unrolling scroll. You begin to see how scenes fit together, how geograpical features evolve and change and succeed each other. Before trains, you could only see as far as your eye could see and there’s not much diffence between walking and riding or driving in a carriage in that respect.

And I adore stations. Straight is good, curved is a lot better. Brighton station has a not-bad curve – I’m shaping up to doing a painting of that soon. (‘Leaving Brighton’, which I posted recently, shows the reflection of one train and the station behind in the windows of a second train. No curve.)

But York station is divine. Like a cathedral. Soaring roof-supports and metalwork, glorious glass canopies, simple ornament, repetitive pattern linked to function. And that wonderful long, perfect curve.

I used acrylics and pastels on a sheet of specially-made paper. It’s quite a large piece (74x100cm). My own curve isn’t perfect but I drew it swiftly, freehand, without trying too hard, trying to convey the simple spontaneous pleasure and movement in that series of arches.

Leaving York (detail)