Tag Archives: original painting

House By Tracks, a Hot Summer Afternoon

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This painting is sold!

So glad this painting went home for Christmas 2014, to a person whose grandma lived in a house like this, such wonderful memories she shared of her siblings walking across town with their mother to her mother’s home for Sunday dinner, and a house that had not too long before only had an outhouse and no running water, though it did by the early 60s. We think of these things from long ago, but friends of mine from high school grew up in houses without running water, or electricity, or just plain old. Time to remember these things.

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House By Tracks, a Hot Summer Afternoon

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

This painting is sold!


House By Tracks, a Hot Summer Afternoon

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

frame corner for painting

Frame and mat.

This original pastel is painted on Wallis Sanded pastel paper, image size 9″ x 12″. I framed it in a custom moulding pine frame painted dark green with edges trimmed to natural wood, a 2-1/4″ acid-free natural white top mat and a 1/4″ acid-free forest green bottom mat. Finished framed size is 14″ x 17″. It’s in my shop on Etsy, so click on over and take a look.


Frost, a November Painting

painting of frosty morning

Frost, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

The frost this morning reminds me of a painting from a few years ago, just a small thing, a plein air sketch done first thing in the morning to catch the details of a frosty morning like today.

I passed this spot for years on my way to work every morning, an abandoned farm at the intersection of two back roads, the house gone though the flat area where it stood still persists, the yard full of overgrown lilacs and a tired-looking spruce, the pastures surrounded by only fence posts with no wire now full of young trees as they return to our native wooded hillsides, and just the last vestiges of the road that led to the pasture and the barns over the hill impressed in the grass.

detail of painting

Frost, detail

Watching it in all seasons, I was enchanted by the transformation of a frosty morning when the palette of colors was influenced by the hazy blue of the frost itself, coating the overgrown grasses, the brambles and young trees, the morning sky faded by the frosty moisture in the air. I planned this one for a weekend morning with the same conditions, and was rewarded by a Saturday in the same stretch of frosty mornings. As the sun rose I drove out to the spot and quickly painted this little sketch, remembering all the details that had so impressed me on the mornings I’d passed the abandoned spot: the stark shadows from the angled late autumn sun cast in deep cool blue contrasted with the muted tones of the overgrowth cast in warm umbers in the sunlight, highlighted by the soft yellow of the field of grasses.

detail of painting

Frost, detail

I don’t like to overdo these little inspirations. The painting is only 6″ x 6″ and was done in less than a half hour, just enough time and space to render what stayed with me each time I passed.

I still have the original painting, matted and framed, and it’s one of 43 pieces in an exhibited I hosted in 2004 entitled “Winter White“, featuring all small works done primarily en plein air sharing the beauty of winter colors. It’s still one of my favorite exhibits.

I am very much inspired by the Impressionists for my extemporaneous en plein air paintings like “Frost”, especially after having seen the catalog for an exhibit, “Impressionists in Winter: Effets de Neige at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in the summer of 1999.

Another winter is on its way, and the images are already building!


House By Tracks, End of Summer Painting

pastel painting of house by railroad tracks

House by Tracks, pastel © B. E. Kazmarski

Nothing captures the heat of a summer day for me more than a view of railroad tracks, gravel blazing in the relentless August sun, the empty tracks themselves seeming to magnify the silence of a summer afternoon. Add to that the lush trees with deep, welcoming shadows and a faded blue sky and that’s late summer for me, possibly because I often used railroad tracks as a shortcut when walking around in summer.

I also wanted to capture the brilliant highlights on the greenery, and the greenery itself aside from the trees, the scrubby, tough wildflowers that grow in the gravel along the railroad tracks.

framed painting

Framed view.

I will really digress here and mention that I always associate it with the short story from Stephen King’s anthology Different Seasons entitled “The Body”, which became the movie Stand By Me. I was past my childhood days of following railroad tracks to the next town, but when I read that story something clicked for me—as a writer. As I read I could feel the sun beat down on my head, hear the insects, see the tracks stretch out before me in the quivering mirages of summer heat as if I was walking those tracks again and I decided I wanted to do that too, to take people to the place I was in my imagination by writing about it. I had always dismissed the things I’d taken in through my senses as my own experience and which others wouldn’t be interested in. I realized that the descriptive terms that built an image of physical place for the reader are built on what we take in through our senses.

I’ve always been fascinated by houses that were right next to railroad tracks as well, wondering how people managed to live there in the days when trains screamed by and emitted tons of toxic pollution. It all tells a story of a time gone by extending into today. While this house reminds me of many I’ve seen along other railroad tracks, this house is right off of Main Street in Carnegie and is still occupied. I took a few hours on a Sunday afternoon in 2002 to paint it for our annual art exhibit, Carnegie Painted.

frame corner for painting

Frame and mat.

This original pastel is painted on Wallis Sanded pastel paper, image size 9″ x 12″. I framed it in a custom moulding pine frame painted dark green with edges trimmed to natural wood, a 2-1/4″ acid-free natural white top mat and a 1/4″ acid-free forest green bottom mat. Finished framed size is 14″ x 17″. It’s in my shop on Etsy, so click on over and take a look.


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