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Posts tagged “railroad tracks

When We Courted At Evening

Just being together.
He waits.

He waits.

I remember when we courted, when I would sneak down to the tracks by the creek right after dinner, just around the bend from where my parents were settling down for the night, and wait for you.

She arrives.

She arrives.

My heart would skip a beat when I saw you there, waiting for me, I almost flew to your side but thought I should be careful, not knowing you all that well, yet each time I saw your silhouette my love was stronger and I knew you were the one.

They meet.

They meet.

And what silly things did we do but talk about the weather, and what we’d done that day, and what our siblings were doing, and circle around each other and peck at the gravel as if the world hadn’t suddenly stopped turning because we were together.

Talking.

Talking.

Just a few minutes, we never wanted to draw attention, but when I saw the shadows creeping farther and farther across the tracks I knew I had to start back for home to be back by dusk.

Into infinity.

Into infinity.

Who would think, all these years and all these children, and I still carry these memories of you walking to see me in the warm evening light.

Just being together.

Just being together.

. . . . . . .

Five Sentence Fiction: Memories

I took this series of photos walking on Main Street one spring evening recently, where the tracks cross the street and run along the creek where I walk nearly every day, and yet at the right angle they look completely isolated from civilization. I saw the one goose, then a female came to meet him—at a distance I can only tell them from one another by size when male and female are side by side—and they looked and acted so much like a couple of awkward teenagers. I used my 70-300mm zoom lens so I could focus on them and give a little blur to the surroundings; unfortunately in the light it was difficult to see if I was focusing on the geese and in some photos I was focusing on the tracks just in front of them. No matter, I saw a story right away and knew I could even use those photos. The evening light gave the scene an antique look. Then I waited for the keyword that would work for them.

NewFSFBadge-1

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Summer Tracks

photo of railroad tracks in summer
photo of railroad tracks in summer

Summer Tracks.

This was just behind Main Street, but it could be anywhere or in the middle of nowhere. The hills are green but on a day with glare like this the color is almost gone.

It was at this point along the tracks that I thought of the painting “House By Tracks” that I also posted today.

I did fool around with filters and such: Desaturate>Photo Filter Deep Yellow>Diffuse Glow, then some layers with feathering for the edges.

It’s only June, what will become of August?

Just for reference, here is the original photo.


House By Tracks

pastel painting of house by train tracks

pastel painting of house by train tracks

I passed this scene just this morning on my way down Main Street for a number of errands; a day very much like the one in the painting, and, as before, I took several photos of the scene trying to catch the glare of the sun, the feeling of the hot, dry silence of a late summer afternoon, the house sheltered from the tracks and from the sun by trees, its little back porch inviting. As usual, I was disappointed that the photo didn’t seem to convey the feeling I wanted no matter what I did with it—and I modified it every way I could think, enhancing the colors and desaturaing them, making it black and white, sepia, over exposing the highlights, but to no avail. I walked along the tracks in another part of town on my way back and think I captured the hot desolate walking of railroad tracks there, which I will post a little later.

So I looked up this painting I’d done almost ten years ago when, in another attempt, I was unhappy with the outcome of my photos, then on film, and decided to paint the scene to see if I could get it that way. Also, our annual art exhibit “Carnegie Painted” was coming up and I was looking for subjects. This painting did well for both efforts. The scene doesn’t look too different now than it did then, or actually many decades ago when I remember walking by here, something I really didn’t think about until just now.

I still have this painting, and because I pulled it out and dusted it off to look at it for this, I also posted it in my shop on Etsy and in my Marketplace. It’s never gotten much attention from people, it’s not classically “pretty” and I understand that, but it has a lot of character, and it’s always brought back that hot Sunday morning on Main Street for me.

framed painting

Framed view.

About the painting

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I thought about that today as I walked along the tracks in the sun in 94-degree heat, much hotter on the creosote-soaked ties and metal rails, the brush and wildflowers growing tall around me, the tracks in a flat valley though just a short distance, a shortcut from one part of town to another. But I took in every detail, color, scent, sound—that mid-day quiet with the occasional insect or one bird, then silence—my thoughts, some day this will all appear somewhere in something I write.

frame corner for painting

Frame and mat.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This original pastel is painted on Wallis Sanded pastel paper, image size 9″ x 12″. I framed it in a custom moulding pine frame painted dark green with edges trimmed to natural wood, a 2-1/4″ acid-free natural white top mat and a 1/4″ acid-free forest green bottom mat. Finished framed size is 14″ x 17″. It’s in my shop on Etsy, so click on over and take a look.


On A Bright Winter Day

abandoned tracks leading to warehouse

Abandoned

It’s amazing what a bright winter afternoon can make look interesting and encourage you to explore.

This abandoned rail line was installed over 100 years ago and leads to the original Superior Steel building and what’s been added on to it. Now the rail line has fallen into disuse as have most of the buildings which comprised Superior Steel, but on a bright, stark winter afternoon there is something lovely in their shabby, peeling and rusty countenance, softened by ripened grasses, Queen Anne’s Lace, dock and sumac trees.


Snow on the Tracks

snow shower on railroad tracks

Snow on the Tracks

We had a lovely snow shower today, very little wind, nice big flakes, and it make the whole world look like a shaker toy. These tracks cross Main Street, yet always look as if they lead off to the wilderness.


House By Tracks

pastel painting of house by train tracks

House By Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

I passed this scene just yesterday on a day very much like the one in the painting, and, as before, I took several photos of the scene trying to catch the glare of the sun, the feeling of the hot, dry silence of a late summer afternoon, the house sheltered from the tracks and from the sun by trees. As usual, I was disappointed that the photo didn’t seem to convey the feeling I wanted no matter what I did with it—and I modified it every way I could think, enhancing the colors and desaturaing them, making it black and white, sepia, over exposing the highlights, but to no avail.

So I looked up this painting I’d done almost ten years ago when, in another attempt, I was unhappy with the outcome of my photos, then on film, and decided to paint the scene to see if I could get it that way. Also, our annual art exhibit “Carnegie Painted” was coming up and I was looking for subjects. This painting did well for both efforts. The scene doesn’t look too different now than it did then, or actually many decades ago when I remember walking by here.

I should have kept all my attempts at making my photo work, and typically I keep everything, but in the interests of saving space on my hard drive before I prepare for a new one I tossed them. I may go back to it; I remember the sepia with the overexposed highlights kind of got there, in part because it reminded me of photos of the Great Depression.

I still have this painting, and because I pulled it out and dusted it off to look at it for this, I also posted it in my shop on Etsy and in my Marketplace. It’s never gotten much attention from people, it’s not classically “pretty” and I understand that, but it has a lot of character, and it’s always brought back that hot Sunday morning on Main Street for me. Below I have what I wrote about it in my Marketplace so you have a little more of an idea what went behind the painting and why, possibly, I’d never be happy with a photo of it.

About the painting

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

frame corner for painting

Frame and mat.

This original pastel is painted on Wallis Sanded pastel paper, image size 9″ x 12″. I framed it in a custom moulding pine frame painted dark green with edges trimmed to natural wood, a 2-1/4″ acid-free natural white top mat and a 1/4″ acid-free forest green bottom mat. Finished framed size is 14″ x 17″. It’s in my shop on Etsy, so click on over and take a look.