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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Artist Don Breckon

In previous posts I have selected favourite artists John Austin and Barry Freeman and described their influences on railway art used in the jigsaw trade. Today, 24th January 2012, I am doing likewise for another of my favourite artists, Don Breckon.

When I cast my admiring eye over Don's railway paintings I immediately think of the interaction between the community and the permanent way. For example, in some pictures people may be pausing from work, relaxation or recreation while simultaneously admiring a steam train, in awe of the power and majesty on view before them. In others, children may be fascinated onlookers, watching and learning or simply waving to passengers, or playing beside a line; or a family may be enjoying a picnic within view of a line. A father may be talking to locomotive or station staff as his son looks on inquisitively. Railwaymen may be watching proudly in an engine shed, as their powerful iron steed leaves for duty or roars past on a nearby line. Passengers may be waiting for the next train, exiting or boarding a standing train or just conversing. My instinct tells me that Don invites you to be part of his painting. When he captures a steam train on canvas it never totally dominates the picture; it is an integral part, just like a leading actor in a film. Whether he paints a main line express or a small local train on a rural branch line, Don will find the perfect aspect to paint it.

The two pictures I have chosen today reflect the descriptions above. They are both wooden puzzles of ~240 pieces, expertly cut, but by whom is a mystery. They are part of a series purchased privately on the Internet.

The first picture shows a jigsaw replicating the Breckon painting Sunday Working, also the jigsaw title. A Great Western Railway (GWR) 'Grange' class 4-6-0 locomotive of Charles Collett, No.6861 Crynant Grange, is shown heading a Sunday passenger service past a group of admiring railway workers. The title of the jigsaw relates  to the train and the railwaymen, possibly on 'overtime'.

Picture number two from the Breckon painting Morning Delivery, features a small 0-4-4T tank locomotive, No.1521 of the Southern Railway (SR), designed by  Harry Wainwright. The loco is heading a couple of SR green coaches past a cottage in the English countryside. Outside the cottage a postman leans against his bicycle as he chats to the cottage owner.The engine driver leans out of his cab perhaps to shout "good morning" as his train trundles past. The title of both the painting and the jigsaw relates strongly to the train and the two male subjects. The chickens add further rural interest.