Trains and Boats
Maggie, my wife, was keen for us to take the train from the brand new station at Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders, through to Edinburgh, and on to Mallaig to spend a couple of days on the west coast. I remember steam trains from when I was very small and marvelled at their massive bulk, hissing and whistling, with clouds of smoke billowing from their funnels. The painting 'All Aboard for Waverley' is my celebration of the re-opening of the line to our capital. 'A Grand Day Out in Edinburgh' also features a steam train, this time The Flying Scotsman, which has now passed into myth. The track from Fort William to Mallaig passes over a massive concrete viaduct at Glenfinnan, the spot where the Jacobite cause was born and where, centuries later a certain young wizard took his first journey to his new school at Hogwarts. The painting 'Magical Glenfinnan' combines the Jacobite steam train, the monument to Bonny Prince Charlie and Harry Potter. All three paintings were on the wall at the 'Selkirk Boys Show' at our Wasps studios in The Borders.
Trains and boats are two romantic modes of transport and a recent holiday on the south coast provided the inspiration for a series of small works on watercraft. We were intrigued by a little yellow boat we kept seeing flitting between the expensive yachts and the harbour at Fowey and later discovered it to be the Water Taxi, driven by local legend 'Stubbles'. Both are now immortalised in paint, along with a piratical seagull we named 'Captain Jack'.