Occasional thoughts,reminiscences and ideas from the artist Darrell Baschak
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
In another life I was an industrial electrician for the Canadian National Railways. After I had finished my apprenticeship I was assigned to the afternoon shift, where I spent most of the thirteen years I worked for the railway. I remember times coming to work at the Roundhouse in the afternoon when the sun would be blazing in through the windows and this, combined with the smoke from the diesel engines and arc welders, would make for a Turneresque (my word to describe the technique of the great British artist William Turner) effect. This is what I am trying to capture in the painting above. Another challenge is to paint in a monochromatic scheme, which actually works quite well for the environment I remember working in. It was kind of like Hell, or what I imagine Hell would look like. We always had a gray Shop Cat who would regularly check all the incoming locomotives for dead things that would make for a tasty dinner. She never was wanting for food as I remember and would proudly show off her latest catch, something alot of cats do for some reason. So I am titling this piece Afternoon Shift to honour the cat's and my time at the Roundhouse in The Pas, Manitoba.