Cathy Read - Artist - Railway Bridges at Castlefield Painting

I want it all! – Painting Railway Bridges at Castlefield

Do you ever wish you could do everything?

It’s a recurring problem I have with life in general. I keep discovering things that I want to do and there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Some are mutually exclusive, like choosing between going out dancing and sitting in the garden reading. If they are compatible you end up juggling to find a balance.

I find I have similar problems when painting. Take Railway Bridges at Castlefield. My reference image has so much detail. I wish I could paint all of Castlefield without overwhelming the image. It’s one of those places where there’s so much to see. So many bridges, the canal, the rivers, locks, industrial architecture and reflections everywhere.

Less may be more, but there's so much to see!

Like the patterns created by elements of the bridges, railways, arches, bricks and even the patterns formed by rippling waters. The rhythmical flow of water created by wind or perhaps a passing boat. The bridges are dotted with greenery, as Mother Nature attempts to reclaim what was once hers. My butterfly mind wants to include it all!

The importance of capturing the mood.

The scene is tranquil and exudes an air of history. At quiet times like this, it demands respect and reflection. I’m reminded that millions have passed through over the years. Working on the boats, in the factories and on the trains. Historically, it was a hive of activity, and it still is. The activities have changed, especially on the canal where leisure crafts dominate. The experiences of past users would be vastly different to those of the present day.

Cathy Read - Artist - Railway Bridges at Castlefield Painting
Railway Bridges at Castlefield - ©2023-Cathy-Read - Watercolour acrylic ink - 59 x 52cm

There are hints of railway traffic but no trains to be seen. I wonder if the passengers realise how impressive the bridge they are travelling over is? When I’m on a train journey, I look out for familiar landmarks. They look so different from above and pass by so quickly below, that I rarely recognise them in time to fully appreciate what I see.

The power of now.

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to travel back in time and experience life as it was then? For all it’s appeals, I’m sure, I’d wish to be back in the 21st Century. Knowing that you can’t do everything, is a good thing. It’s more important to focus on one thing and enjoy what you are doing right now. If only my butterfly mind would let me.

See Art in Real Life?

Photographs are never as good as seeing the original painting. Railway Bridges at Castlefield is on display at Naturally Empowered in Hale. Part of a curated selection of Original Painting inspired by the iconic architecture of Manchester and the surrounding area.

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