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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Artist Barry Freeman

Today's post comprises two photographs of jigsaws reproducing the excellent artwork of railway specialist, Barry J. Freeman. In my collection of 400 steam railway puzzles approximately fifty originate from paintings by Barry. He has/had three main patrons Waddingtons (no longer manufacturing), Wentworth and Gibsons although some of his paintings have been covered by two or  three of these manufacturers.

Barry has been a railway fanatic since childhood so it is not surprising that he turned to painting pictures of the steam era. He has done so, professionally, since 1989, following 18 years as an art teacher. His paintings have a warm pictorial appeal combined with a clinical approach to detail, qualities that always capture the grandeur and nostalgia associated with the age of steam. He is a Full Member and former Deputy President of the Guild of Railway Artists and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1995.

The first pic is of a 1000-piece example from Gibsons' Heritage' series titled Heavyweights at Seaton. This jigsaw features the impressive Southern Railway 'Merchant Navy' class 'Pacifics' of Oliver Bulleid (from 1941) in both original and rebuilt (late 1950's) form.  Rebuilt locomotive No.35016, Elders Fyffes, is pictured storming through Seaton Junction with the 'Atlantic Coast Express'. Un-rebuilt locomotive (or 'Spam Can') No. 35019, French Line CGT is stationery in the adjacent platform heading an eastbound parcels train.

The second photograph depicts another Gibsons' puzzle. However, this one is from the 636-piece 'Panorama' series, titled Southern Suburbia. In the picture a Southern Railway 'Schools' class 4-4-0, No.915 Brighton, designed by Richard Maunsell is shown racing through Coulsdon North Station with an Eastbourne - London Victoria express. Travelling in the opposite direction is a Marsh/Billinton class 'H2' 4-4-2, No.2421 South Foreland, (ex London Brighton & South Coast Railway) heading a boat train. A 4-car emu (electric multiple unit) is pictured passing on an adjacent branch line.