Thursday, July 23, 2009

Train Art

Yesterday, I drove up to Lake Village, Arkansas, to visit a home decor/import store called Paul Michael Company, which is one of my favorite places to shop for accessories for my house and outdoor decor. Paul Michael has a store in Monroe, Louisiana, which is closer to Vicksburg, but I haven't been to the Lake Village store in quite a while and thought it would be fun to take pictures along the way.

Well, as it turned out, taking pictures was a lot more fun than shopping, if you can believe that. I just didn't see anything I had to have at Paul Michael's, which is a rarity. Of course, it could have been because on the way to Lake Village, I saw so many things I wanted to capture with my camera, but didn't take the time to stop. By the time I got there, I really wasn't in the mood to shop, and couldn't wait to get back in my car and find those "pictures" I saw on the way up.

I was traveling on Louisiana Highway 65 North, which is in the heart of the Louisiana Delta. A railroad track runs parallel to the road for miles and miles, and I noticed a very long line of railroad cars on a side track beside the road. I was fascinated by the "graffiti," or "urban art" painted on some of the cars.

I've always wondered about the people who paint those pictures on train cars. It has to take some time to paint the more detailed pictures and intricate letters, and I wonder when and where they paint them without getting caught.

Some of them are quite good, and if they painted their creations on canvas instead of trains, they could probably make a living by selling their art. I can just imagine an art gallery in New York City featuring an exhibit called "Train Art." Hmmmm ... I wonder if they would exhibit my pictures of train art ?

Oh, well ... I'll just share them with you here instead. Here are my favorites (you can click on the pictures to see the details, if you'd like):

I love the views from underneath the train cars, too.

Aren't they amazing! I hope you will join me tomorrow to see the rest of the pictures I captured on my journey through the beautiful Louisiana Delta.


southerninspiration said...

Yes, I have been fascinated by "train art" myself and wondered how they get it to look consistent. Is there a Train Art University so that they all learn from the same teacher?? Is there an art book that shows them how to do it???? It always seems to be pretty consistent, even from locale to locale. Thanks for the pics. You SHOULD add this to your book when you publish it! ;)


Prospero said...

Yes, that artwork is fascinating. Most seem to involve letters (most of which I can't make out or divine the significance).

However, I did know what lagniappe meant.

Stacey said...

I laughed at what Prospero said because I can never read it either. It's interesting and means something to the people who put it there. Something tells me that the train people have little appreciation though.

The Quintessential Magpie said...



Sheila :-)

Kim said...

Very cool!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Don't you wonder how they do that??

Sandi in Alabama said...

This past Saturday, I made a LONG trip from Mobile, AL to Pine Bluff, AR. That's a full day trip for sure. Of course, the only way to get there is up through Vicksburg, the LA Delta and on up 65. On the road, I noticed the train cars with all the tags on them. Actually, my son paints graffiti and so I know a little bit about the art work on the cars. By the way, it's illegal, but most train yards don't mind now, as long as they don't leave their spray paint cans on the ground!!! I'm glad you posted the pics so I can show those to him, he'll be pleased to know that some other people appreciate train art. I made a special stop at Paul Michael too. I spent a whopping $35.00. I went with the idea of buying a ton of stuff, just didn't see anything screaming my name. I was a little disappointed, but they are having the 25% off storewide, so everything might be picked over. This is one of my all time favorite stores. I begged them to open a store in Mobile, but they said they are opening in Lafayette in the fall, so they don't have any plans for my area! I'll make a 4 hour drive to get to PM.

Thanks for your lovely blog. I read it daily and so enjoy your photos and inspirational thoughts. I'm a MS girl as well, even though I don't live there. We have a beautiful state!

Bye now

Mark said...

hi i am a graffiti artist myself an it is nice to see some normal people taking an intrest in what we spend so much time doing.... but to answer some questions that i saw we do it with special spray paint an caps for making thinner an fatter lines for detail.... an no we dont go to a class we just learn from watching the lines.... an practice makes perfect..... an yes it is illegal but we dont care it is our form of expression.... an if you want to learn anymore just comment back my mom is on here all the time.... an if you would like more pictures just say the word i have boxes upon boxes of the..

Southern Lady said...

Sandi: It's so nice to know that you read my blog every day and enjoy it, and I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.



Southern Lady said...

Mark: Thank you for your note about graffiti art -- and for the information on how it is done. It is truly amazing and I admire the talent and creativity that go into the designs.