Travel Town Museum – Locomotive Retirement Home

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Travel Town Museum –

I traveled to Travel Town to check out a possible site for a JEPA Workshop. The Travel Town Museum is a retirement home for old locomotives and railroad cars. It’s located in Griffith Park, where you will also find the Griffith Park Observatory.

The weather was ideal for painting en plein air. The temperature was in the upper 70’s and there was just enough atmosphere to cast shadows while softening the edges.

I walked around Travel Town looking at the many vintage steam engines and cars before I settled on this view. I liked this one because of the unusual shelter covering the wooden passenger cars. The cast iron engines were left out in the elements. I pitched my easel in a grassy area and began with a pen & ink sketch.

Running From the Lord?

There were not many tourists here today. Nevertheless, I expected someone to be curious enough to check me out. After I had finished the sketch and began to the watercolor phase, a man called out, “Excuse me, can I come over and look?” “Sure,” I replied, “come on over.” He was with a lady and young child. He and I chatted for a bit while the lady and child watched. They didn’t seem like a couple; more like a date. When I asked him what talent God had given him (as I often do with curious strangers who come to my easel), he said (as often strangers do), “I don’t know.” So I replied (as I often do), “How would you like to find out for sure what talent God has given you.” He hesitated for moment then said, “Sure.” That was my opportunity to tell him about God’s gifts. When I mentioned Jesus, he began to fidget. He said, “Oh, I know him. Hey, thanks for letting me see your painting.” With that, he spun on his hills and scurried away, almost leaving his ‘date’ and her child behind.

Possible Workshop Site?

I really enjoyed painting here at Travel Town. It was a welcome alternative from building architecture. However, I suspect that the odd shapes and shadows that get lost in the dark shapes might be a little overwhelming for a beginning artist. What do you think?


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