Gretchen Anderson Photography

As a Midwestern native, trains have wound their way along the tracks of my life. One day my eyes focused, not on train cars, but moving art.

'TAGS' started: rust and metal, graffiti and color, Color saturated designs painted on metal , never to be seen again by that artist, a messenger. This art is in the process of making it. A sandcastle as the tide approaches.

Stopped at a crossing watching a fast train, driving parallel to tracks and a river, a locomotive resting, waiting for its new crew. Trespassing in the backyard of a factory, for portraits of retired train cars. Aging metal, boxcars that have been...where? Who painted the fading messages? Security guard approaching; I'm not supposed to be here, am I?..."Nope", he answers . I have what I came fo
r.



‘GASP’ is one photograph in a series of train portraits, called TRAX. Amusing, vibrant, and unflinching, I haven’t tired of this subject. I continue to find contrast in words against metal, rust and railroad graffiti,  neon colors, hard edges, and texture.  When all goes well in my work, I am filled with a sense of joy, and am reminded that making pictures is my true passion.  Creativity has nurtured me since childhood, in a family of artists and musicians.  I have worked in many areas outside of art, including medical science, but always return to art to nourish my soul.  An uncle told me when I was little, ‘if you can see you can draw.’  My father said, ‘if you can breathe you can sing’, and my mother said ‘if you can walk you can dance.’

Between taking the photos, and developing them, surprises appear that I don't notice before. This adventure fuels my work, as I continue digitally, finally getting a sense of peace when it is printed. I print on metallic paper because the final image seems to glow from the inside out. Breaking a few 2-D design rules, I prefer tight cropping, highlighting some peculiar points of view. In this series, traditional framing stopped my eye and felt confining.  The photos can be mounted without boundaries for the viewer’s eye. I hope people enjoy the finished image, and find life in the metal.

I have grown into doing this series after years of portrait and nature photography. Lifes experience landed me in the Midwest, in a train town, a hub of moving art.  Three large pieces in a regional show landed Best of Show, earning a solo show of ‘TRAX’, that was then sent on the road to several other galleries. I continue to work with a couple of Midwestern galleries, and look forward to exploring more venues in the Southwest, my new home.


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