Tag Archives: summer artwork

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!


Small Summer Landscapes

pastel painting of tree at dawn

The Old Apple Tree, pastel

Above, “The Old Apple Tree”, 6″ x 6″, pastel, matted and framed, available on Etsy.

For me, a bit part of the joy of summer is getting out there in it, on the trails, canoeing the creek, walking around the streets and neighborhoods of my town and growing my garden. And from that, of course, come images, paintings, photographs, block prints, and all the other things I do.

pastel painting of a field with trees

Summer Field, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

Above, “Summer Field”, 12″ x 10″, pastel, matted and framed, available on Etsy.

I will always remember summer for the time I had to learn to paint en plein air during long, hot summer afternoons when the sun seemed to move slowly enough that I could keep up with it, out there in a field somewhere with my easel and drawing board, listening to insects and deciding exactly what shade a cerulean the sky was that day.

Sometimes these are studies for larger works when I’m remembering a scene or working from reference photos and trying to get back to that moment of inspiration to find what was most important to me then.

For instance, I had taken a number of reference photos for a painting of a scene I’d seen on Chartiers Creek while I was canoeing. I couldn’t do a plein air painting in a canoe because I didn’t want to hold up my group of canoers, but I did a quick reference sketch either that night or the next day, doing my best to hold onto what I had perceived in that space. The result was “Sunbeams”.

pastel painting of sunbeams through trees

Sunbeams, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I didn’t get a chance to paint the painting until January, though sometimes waiting until January or February for a big work is by choice because it’s a better time of year to focus one something big and complicated, and business is a little slower. But in this case it was also icy cold and snowy, a long way from the warm June morning in a canoe. Looking at photographs will bring that back, but my sketches hold my memories and thoughts at the moment of creating more than my photos do. Photos aren’t always accurate for color, especially contrasty ones like this scene, so I’m also careful to choose the colors I feel at that moment for later use. The result is “Morning on the Creek”, though trust me, this one in particular was no quick sketch! It’s the only one in the set that was a planned and long-term piece.


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.


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.


Summer Landscapes

pastel painting of tree at dawn

The Old Apple Tree, pastel

For me, a bit part of the joy of summer is getting out there in it, on the trails, canoeing the creek, walking around the streets and neighborhoods of my town and growing my garden. And from that, of course, come images, paintings, photographs, block prints, and all the other things I do.

pastel painting of a field with trees

Summer Field, pastel © B.E. Kazmarski

I will always remember summer for the time I had to learn to paint en plein air during long, hot summer afternoons when the sun seemed to move slowly enough that I could keep up with it, out there in a field somewhere with my easel and drawing board, listening to insects and deciding exactly what shade a cerulean the sky was that day.

pepper in bowl

One Pepper, pastel C B E. Kazmarski

What better way to express a “fruitful” morning in the garden than with a quick little sketch? As I prepare for another summer “out in the field”, especially after renewing my studio in the house, you can find a collection of small and large original paintings, one block print, a few crocheted washcloths inspired by the flowers as they bloom in my garden and some very special aprons featured in my Etsy shop. Have a beautiful solstice!


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