Boats and Planes...but mainly Trains!

Saturday 12th May - Wednesday 23rd May 2018


By Ted Parker

A collection of oil on canvas paintings and photographs of scenes from the Age of Steam on British Railways in the 1950s and 60s.

"I was born in Sheffield 1949 and son of a Railwayman, I soon developed my interest in railways. Fast forward a few years, I became a very keen photographer and spent as much time as I could recording, on film, the final years of steam operation on British Railways to its eventual demise in 1968.

I had always been quite good at art in school, but never really took it any further until the mid 1970s when I decided to try oil painting, I had tried watercolour, pencil drawing and ink drawing but found oil on canvas to be my favourite.

As well as railway subjects, I developed a keen interest in sailing and soon had an order book of commissions from proud boat owners!

Working as an Industrial Scientific Photographer for British Steel research - my wife also worked at the same laboratories - we were chosen to relocate to Teesside in 1977. In 1980 I found myself embroiled in the steel strike (not of my choosing) and with a lot of time on my hands, what little money I had was invested in paint, canvas and brushes.

Later that year I was invited to join the 'Guild of Railway Artistes' and succeeded in getting two paintings chosen for their national 'Railart' exhibition in 1981 at the NRM York.

For many reasons my interest in painting went on hold as I was embroiled in becoming self employed and starting my own video and photography business, which became all consuming until few years ago when I was commissioned to make a film for the 'Railway Magazine' about David Shepherd, Wildlife and Railway Artist who sadly died very recently. Meeting David was an inspiration to me - filming him in his wonderful studio and looking round his gallery was such a privilege not many people have experienced.

Although not immediately, I was determined to re-kindle my painting again. After several false starts as I eased my way into retirement from my business. I built a studio in my garden and have been painting as much as I can since!

I have tried in many of my paintings to capture the harsh grittiness of those final years of run down steam locomotives, the atmosphere of smoke filled locomotive sheds and stations with decades of grime encrusted infrastructure.

I have also included some of my sailing subjects and aviation subjects, but the real challenge is capturing the allure of the steam locomotive, often in situations and conditions which would have been impossible to capture on film.

I hope you enjoy my exhibition." 

Ted Parker

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