Tag Archives: train

Keswick Avenue Portrait

I like drawing from photos. It allows me to make a sketch anywhere and anytime. And while my pen moves around the paper I revisit the scene in memory, feeling the sun, the rain, the humidity, hearing the traffic sounds and smelling lilacs or wood smoke or diesel…

Here is a photo of the train overpass on Keswick Avenue in Glenside, PA, in September 2019. I don’t remember exactly why I was here, because it is a stretch of sidewalk I travel very often. I think I was in the neighborhood to get my hair cut or to go to the dentist.

Here’s the photo:

Glenside 3 4-10-191

Here is the sketch I made in my notebook some days later:

Car on Keswick Avenue 9-191

This picture says “home” to me.

Commuters: Train and Bus

Drawing With a Pen #4

Earlier this summer, my husband and I set out to earn awards on the Montgomery County Trail Challenge – it involved visiting five or more country trails and traversing some portion of each route. When we visited the Cynwyd Heritage trail (Look here for the post I wrote plus some photos), we crossed the Schuylkill River on an old rail bridge, now part of the trail.

Here are some drawings from photos I took that day. The first two are from ground level in the Manayunk section of the city, where the old rail bridge crosses over the river and over the streets. The bridge with arched sections is the rail bridge. The next one is the commuter rail bridge, still in use.

The last one is of the commuter rail tracks heading into Philadelphia, this time from up above on the old rail bridge, now trail.

Drawing With a Pen #2

These drawings were done from photos I took on a train trip to Washington, DC, earlier this summer. One is of the platform in Philadelphia before we boarded the train. The other one is a scene coming into the city. I think I enjoy looking at “behind-the-scenes” views like these more than visiting national monuments or most museums. I think if I could have toured the second location, I could have spent some hours there. Especially if they had let me climb around on some of these structures…

Lots of Art Lined Up and Waiting

The Small Landscape Giveaway has occupied the painting space on this blog for a long time – all winter, in fact, right? So I have a lot of paintings that I’ve worked on since the fall to show you and I’ll start in right here.

These paintings are all 6″ x 6″ and done in acrylics on board – some with an applied gesso surface with a texture, some with smooth, and some that I gessoed myself with a slightly rough surface. I see that I was using up the tail ends of a lot of categories of board, wasn’t I?

These paintings were all done around the time of October, 2015. Many of them refer to actual sights I saw – look at the captions for more information, if you are interested.

More Reality, Mine and The Other One

More of those 8″ x 10″ paintings inspired by everyday scenes I captured with my little point and shoot camera.

Details Details Details

I’ve been using my camera lot for the Sunshine Project, and along the way I’ve taken some pictures that I think are interesting, all on their own. And there are others that I’ve worked on a bit. Here are some samples.

This first group is shots of things that caught my eye and I’ve left them just as they were.

This next group is of pictures I thought were maybe not so good or that had some flaw, and I took it upon myself to see what I could do with them.

And here’s one that I went a little further on the path of “enhancement”! It started off as one of those photos of the parking lot and I added the lines and colors, then blurred it, and then maybe I did some more things – I don’t remember…

Microorganism. I think.

Microorganism. I think.

Train Trip

About a year ago I made a train trip to Pittsburgh to visit my son. I spent the trip glued to the window. And I took notes in my little orange Rhodia notebook, though not with any real purpose in mind – maybe I thought it might jog my memory when describing the trip to my family and friends.

I thought of making a zine out of it because of a friend – a zine-maker herself. The trip seemed like a good fit for a zine. I was further encouraged by a visit to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, where there is a great zine collection (I eventually submitted mine to the library and it’s now in their collection).

Now a friend has posted it on the little orange notebook’s blog – she is the editor and a wonderful artist herself. Take a look if you’d like – the whole text is published. And if you want an actual copy, let me know and I’ll send you one.

Thank you to Stephanie, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Katie!

And here’s a picture, not of a train, but of one of the things I really enjoyed on the trip – the buses in Pittsburgh are all different colors, and I loved seeing them moving around the city…
yellow bus #2

Let’s Visit

Here is something I wrote in January, 2014. I had dedicated the month to doing clay, and I made a number of small figurines. Here’s what I wanted to do with them:

Back in the summer, my family and I placed three figurines in a little rocky grotto area in a park along a trail where I run. It had become an informal spot for remembrances, it seemed – there were other objects set there – tiles, wind chimes, a big painted wooden face. The three figures lasted about three months and then were gone. Not broken, as there were no pieces – I believe someone needed them and took them. That was great, I thought. We put three more in place. A couple of times I ran by and saw that someone had put a pile of change in front of them – the money stayed there until this group, too, were gone. Once again, no pieces – so I know someone needed them and took them along.

I have three more to put in place when I can get to the park again. And all of this gave me an idea about my figurines. I decided no longer to sell them. Just give them to people who seem to need encouragement, who I want to thank or appreciate, or who just like them and express an interest. And I also want to continue setting them out in public. People do seem to like seeing them, and if someone wants to take them home, I hope they will do so.

A lot of my plans got derailed with my hand surgery and health issues, but as I’ve said, I’m slowly working my way back. And I’ve begun putting out figurines – I’ve written about the one at Mondauk Park recently. The trail I mention in the paragraphs above is Lorimer Park, Montgomery County, PA. It’s a former rail line now turned gravel trail, and it’s beautiful – on a steep slope above a creek. The grotto is located in a cut through the hill – high walls of rock rise on each side of the trail.

I’ve walked there recently several times. And I noticed that all the clay figurines I’ve placed in the grotto are gone – for a total of nine. I think it’s great.

This time I had the idea to do something different. So I picked up three rocks from beside the site, painted them (three little versions of Mother Nature, I think). I returned them to the place I got them a few days ago. I visited them yesterday, and here is a little pictorial version of the journey.


Here are a couple more small paintings from December. Both of them feature public transportation, don’t they? I imagine myself taking a little trip when I look at them.

Acrylics on 3/8″ board.