Finishing Bartlett

Above you see completed, the painting that got rained out last week. Clearly, I cannot call this a plein air painting anymore! While gallery sitting on Friday, I spent five hours on the engine itself, and Saturday after my granddaughter opined that the background was too loose by comparison to the engine, another couple of (annoyed) hours on the trees in the background.

Because the tracks converge on the roundhouse, I’m wondering if I need to offer an explanation of that by putting a reference to the roundhouse in my title.

This engine–the 501–by the way, has a fan website of its own, I discovered, where I found this photo:

I was looking for photographs of any steam engine clad in its insulating “jacket” because I met the young man who acts as the 501’s caretaker, and he had talked as if the 501’s jacket was out for repairs, and would be back on the engine soon. Perhaps I misunderstood him–in the photo above, the 501 is not wearing a jacket, but perhaps it was posing without jacket for the sake of the photograph.

In my web search, I did stumble on one explanation of why old engines are always pictured without their jackets. The jackets were made of materials (asbestos?) that deteriorated much more quickly than the metal that forms the boiler.

Saturday and Sunday I worked on my other large Bartlett painting. Not sure whether to call it a studio painting too–I did work on it en plein air for two consecutive evenings. Moreover, although I had a photo to refer to, few of the decisions I made in the studio were based on that photo. The painting is a view of the Bartlett Inn from the side, with one of its cabins intruding from the right.

My granddaughter did not have any helpful criticisms for this painting, which is kind of nervous-making. I use her to spot the glaring anomalies, jarring errors, etc.

In other news, I finally completed my portrait of Maximillian, who lives with Jane. I held off declaring it finished for many weeks because I was concerned about the eyes, but now I am happy, and here he is in all his glory:

Yes, his paw IS that large.

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