Fuel for Progress

Fuel for Progress

Fuel for Progress was inspired by a bicycle trip I took on the St. Anthony parkway in NE Minneapolis.  I had stopped on an overpass by University Ave to watch the trains and was intrigued by the curving tracks and the motion they implied.  I thought, “What if I could paint a train flying around the bend and almost tipping off the track with its speed.”  From my viewpoint I could see downtown Minneapolis in the distance.  I wanted to include the cityscape into my composition, but realized modern day skyscrapers would not fit with the steam locomotive I had picked for the foreground.  I did some research on what Minneapolis would have looked like at the turn of the 20th century.  I picked some of my favorite buildings and signage and collaged them into the background.  It wasn’t until I was almost done painting the building details that I realized I had picked all bread and beer factories!  The piece’s title comes from the idea that the bread and beer manufacturing was fueling the fast paced progress that was screaming us into the future at that point in history.

Archival giclee prints on canvas (stretched on bars and ready to hang) are available in a variety of sizes by going to the Online Store menu option above.

Across the Prairie

Across the Prairie

Archival giclee prints on canvas (stretched on bars and ready to hang) are available in a variety of sizes by going to the Online Store menu option above.

Lovestory

Lovestory

“Lovestory” is the tale of 2 people meeting and falling in love in the city of Minneapolis told by train imagery.
Her: a rowdy Packers football fan from Wisconsin.
Him: an easy going but devoted Vikings fan from Minnesota.
They are each represented by a different locomotive on a crash course to collide.  
Life was good and on an even keel as “his” train drives along at a steady pace from NE Minneapolis (skyline on the left).  As he approaches downtown however, his train suddenly dives, does a loop-dee-loop, veers, and flies around to meet “her” train as it comes barreling out of the sky!  
The couple met while both working at the Star Tribune newspaper building in downtown Minneapolis (notice the flying newspapers)  They had an explosive attraction and not long after, the couple had their first date
(& first kiss!) at the Loon Cafe on 1st Ave. The rest of the painting portrays imagery specific to their lives:  their mutual love of Minneapolis icons (like the Grain Belt beer sign), places they frequent, nicknames, and their beloved dog “Jake”.  They are now married, but the football rivalry of the Packers vs. the Vikings still remains strong.  The inclusion of cows wearing Packer’s jerseys and cheese-heads while the Viking ship rolls onto the football field was a bit of goofy fun that I get to include into a painting once in awhile.  It fit this particular couple’s love of life and playful good nature. 

Archival giclee prints on canvas (stretched on bars and ready to hang) are available in a variety of sizes by going to the Online Store menu option above.

Go West Young Man

Go West Young Man

Go West Young Man was my first train painting and really my first dive into an action oriented, storytelling style that I had been wanting to experiment with for some time.  I had recently moved to Minneapolis and became intrigued by the many areas of the city characterized by urban industrialization.  This scene is based off of the SOO Line railroad trestle that crosses from NE Minneapolis over the Mississippi River to North Minneapolis just south of the 42nd Ave bridge.  I decided to change the bridge to look like a roller coaster to help convey the turbulent history of the people in the photograph: my great-grandma Rose and her husband Don.  Rose was deserted during the Great Depression and left with 6 small children to try to feed and take care of all on her own.  Times were tough and she would scrub floors, take in laundry, and work anything she could find to put food on the table.  Rose knew that Don had headed westward (If you read the graffiti it says, “Go West Young Man”).  The painting implies that he headed west on a freight train, emptying his pockets and throwing away the photograph and his old life.  The train is spiraling off into an unreachable place because she never saw him again.

Archival giclee prints on canvas (stretched on bars and ready to hang) are available in a variety of sizes by going to the Online Store menu option above.

For Love or Money?

For Love or Money?

Journey of the Barrel Raft Boys

Journey of the Barrel Raft Boys