My immersion in model railroading is largely a selfish pursuit. I like getting compliments as much as the next person but my drive is primarily internal, a desire to create images that give me pleasure to look at, to create scenes that I enjoy operating, experiencing, and interacting with. As modelers we have an advantage that commercial artists do not. I call it the audience of one. Our livelihoods and legacy aren’t dependent in the least on whether anybody else likes our work. All we have to do is please ourselves and it’s a lot easier to satisfy one person than the world at large. It’s pretty liberating when you think about it. However, from time to time I do reflect upon why I publicly post my images and have yet to drill down into my self awareness enough to fully get a handle on it. If I can’t fully explain it to myself it is certainly harder to articulate it to others. As an internally wired person my needle isn’t moved that much either way by compliments or criticisms of the image postings. The best I can come up with is that “putting the images out there”, making them public, part of the community, somehow gives them life.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my largest outside influences…. Hopper, Ted Rose, Vermeer. I’m just so taken by the mood of serenity, lighting, and visual texture that typifies their work….how they can take the ordinary and create something that is considered some of the most influential art of the ages. I’m fortunate to live where I do in that some of the best art museums in the world are either in town (Washington, DC) or in nearby Philadelphia and New York. It’s hard to measure but I do get the sense that spending more and more times in those museums is improving my modeling, or perhaps more accurately, helping me get better at creating images that I like to look at.
Note: Full format versions of my images (which can now be downloaded) are stored on my Flickr page HERE.