Why I paint trams and enjoy
How I got into
I've always loved
oil painting. Ever since I was a young boy I loved painting
landscapes. The richness of the oil colours and the freedom
to create a scene in my imagination has always kept me enthusiastically
However the idea of tram art, the painting of trams, another
passion of mine, has only occurred to me very recently.
I have now been creating tram art and on occasions, train
art for the last two years and I have found this subject
to be a thoroughly rewarding and interesting one.
makes tram art so interesting to me?
been interested in trams for many years. I have found
a lot of scope in the painting of these vehicles from
their interesting colour schemes to their interesting
shapes and designs. However the aspect I most enjoy
about tram art is the environments which the trams ran
and still run in. Trams are at home in city streetscapes
which are full of life. The road vehicles, the people,
the interesting buildings are just a few of the interesting
aspects of tram art.
historic or contemporary trams.
I personally prefer
painting trams from a bygone era. I find the period costumes,
vehicles, advertisements and general mood of historic street
scenes to be really interesting and exciting.
I have found that in order to faithfully recreate a street
scene of past era, I have had to do a lot of research in
order to represent the details accurately. I find this part
just as enjoyable as the painting of the scene. I find that
I learn a lot by painting a picture of a particular period,
place or tram.
I also have a particular interest in creating paintings
of lost photographic opportunities. I have often read about
an interesting historical event that took place on a certain
tramway system which unfortunately was never recorded visually
with a camera. I find painting, along with a lot of research,
can recreate the event visually which I feel enriches and
visualises the history.
Many fantastic black and white photographs exist of trams
from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. These
photographs do a wonderful job in conveying visual information
about the period but one thing that is missing is colour.
We can see what shape a tram is, how it sits and reacts
with its environment but we can't see what colour it is
in these photos. I think this is where tram art can tell
its own unique story.
Unfortunately on the other hand, the lack of colour photographs
from the period can make an artist's research and re-creation
of a scene much more difficult and accuracy isn't always
do I get my inspiration?
I always enjoy looking
at old photos of trams and street scenes. I often come across
an interesting photograph with a tram or scene in a particular
pose which is unusual. Sometimes the photographer has found
a unique angle to capture a scene and I often find it interesting
to portray my tram art in a similar way. I often adapt the
angle to a completely unique scene and this often works well.
I also read a lot of interesting tram related books and
find myself wishing to see a particular scene, or event
in person or at least visually with the aid of a photograph.
Unfortunately in many cases, photographs are non-existent.
This sometimes forms the basis of an interesting painting
idea. I then have to go about sketching until I develop
something I like. Often I don't and the idea dies.
painting with fellow artists.
Something that I
really think has enriched the experience for me is being able
to share my tram art with like minded artists. The internet
has allowed me to make contact with artists with similar interests
in tram art and it has been a great pleasure to share research
materials and ideas for paintings. I have found several social
groups where I can share my paintings and view others works
of art. To name a few, Flickr and RedBubble are two places
where you can share photos and art and the formation of specific
interest groups has made the process very interesting indeed.