Friday, November 26, 2010

Another twentieth century flashback

From a moving train

Watercolour and ink

©1996 Charlene Brown

Canadian ‘Group of Seven’ painter Lawren Harris is said to have leaped from a moving train in his eagerness to begin a day of sketching in the Canadian Rockies. In the fall of 1996, I could have done that too, but took the less rigorous approach of doing the sketching itself from the moving train. It is hard to imagine a pleasanter way to travel.,,

This painting shows the dazzling outlook from Switzerland’s Glacier Express over the baroque village of Andermatt. This spectacular view actually alternated from left to right during the serpentine climb toward the early October snowline.

Speaking of dazzling, the best ice fields are often on the north slopes of the Alps, and their most spectacular aspects are seen by looking south. Around noon, that means facing pretty well straight into the sun. (in June of last year I wrote a blog post mentioning you get the same effect looking north in the Andes) Photographs from inside a train are dominated by the window’s reflection of brightly lit hands and camera. The only way to get a nice picture is with fairly sophisticated photographic equipment – or, of course, paintbrushes.