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An original hub and still an icon of Portland, Union Station

I always liked railroad scenes, especially the spicy smell of the tracks on a hot day, and sensation of heat coming off red brick buildings at its end. This was a perfect view of lots of train related activity, and except for sunburns a safe an easy place to set up my easel. It was also how and where I first arrived in Portland, planning to find a place to live before I moved all my stuff west.

From painting Union Station from up on the west side of the Broadway Bridge I could witness a human main base of moving objects coming and going, and the experience was a lot like assisting with bee hives when I was a child, or I kept thinking of Star Wars Episode 2 with the scenes of Coriscant.

It was early summer by now and I noticed that the sky really did have a slight green aqua tinge to it, after all this time growing up thinking there was something wrong with the old color TV set whenever I watched Westerns, and I added a tiny bit of green to the blue I normally use. The air was very dry and gave the clouds a sharpness, in which I penciled in their shaded spots instead of using watered down grey paint.

And then a a little bit of blue in the non rusty spots of corrugated metal roofing to reflect it. Oddly this was the part of this painting I got the most compliments on.

I predicted that my creative time investment might appeal to both train buffs and Portlanders. It did, and its success inspired me to later devote a whole year to painting railroad scenes, which turned out to have a motley range of hits and duds.

Union Station, Portland, Oregon, June 2007, ink & watercolor, 30″X22″