Painting with Words: Winter Traveler

Perhaps because of my love for Wagner's Tannhäuser, or perhaps because I have simply spent so much time traveling and observing the world myself, the imagery of wanderers and pilgrims, travelers, and spectators fascinates me. Airports and railway stations are full of people who are escaping, returning, leaving their familiar surroundings to accomplish something significant or to re-evaluate perspectives, families, soldiers (particularly in the past several years), friends and lovers parting or reuniting, businessmen and women. . . in fact, airports and railway stations are quite often the places that I have found most conducive to contemplating humanity and culture.

Winter Traveler [above] was inspired by a young woman whom I saw on a train while crossing Europe. She stood by a door, her backpack in hand, dressed in a bulky jacket, scarf, and boots, and with her back turned to me, she seemed like the universal anonymous traveler. With the train moving so quickly, the scene was rather hypnotic, the cold earth outside the windows became a blur, a scene worthy of Schubert's Winterreise. Of course, I did not wish to make this particular painting feel as isolated and dramatic as Schubert's song cycle, I simply wanted to depict the mystery of an unknown traveler heading out into a cold yet magically beautiful world of unexplored potential. I used quite a bit of red, yellow, and pink in the painting as a suggestion of good cheer, warmth, and humanity and I intentionally left it unclear as to what she is stepping out from (Her home? A train? Her workplace?) I would like the viewer to wonder about her story, to wonder about the nature of travels both physical and spiritual.

1 comment

rennschnecke (Starranger) said...

hallo , schöne Bilder ,
Franz Marc ist mein "Held"