Visual images can be powerful storytellers and the big and rough images of “Train Yard” tell the story of the heavy, iron-knuckled work of the railroad. Primary colors are used to portray the unapologetic energy of train cars – the unheralded heroes of American commerce.
My family and I have lived in Norfolk’s West Ghent area, off and on for over 20 years. From our neighborhood one can sometimes hear the distant interplay of harbor tug whistles and train car couplings – sounds unique to the broad shouldered character of our great city.
The inspiration for “Train Yard” sprang from my appreciation of the American work ethic, our endless entrepreneurial energy, and our drive to build things of value. Born in Illinois, deep in the farming and coal-mining land of the American Midwest I came to take great pride in Carl Sandburg's depiction of the ‘City of Big Shoulders’ in his poem, “Chicago.”
Raised the son of a machinist, I have always recognized the beauty in human invention and found real truth in Oscar Wilde’s notion of beauty when he said, “I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful."