To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Friday, January 29, 2010


Have you seen "Murder on the orient Express" from Agatha Christie, or other movies that deal with mysteries on a train ride?  Very intriguing, but then, I like mysteries.

When I was 10 years old, I began to ride the (public) bus to a larger town, because my parents found the elementary school in our little village wanting. After a year my family moved  further away from my school, and now I had to take a 45 min. train ride. That made me a commuter at 11 years old. 
I was with a whole group of kids riding the train. Later I still took train rides regularly for my art education and  for events in other cities.

Every year a new guide for buses and trains comes out. To go to a certain place, one sometimes had to change trains, go to another part of the train station, or change from a train to a bus to reach one's destination

To make it even more complicated, sometimes parts in the front of the  train would eventually go  to another destination than the back part!  
On busy days, it took sometimes a few minutes before one was able to exit the train and run to be in time to catch another train or bus.To find one's way around without the guide, can a challenging puzzle.

© Train Ride, Watercolor, St.Germain
Since the train was my main means of transportation till I married, it's not a surprise that  the train was my inspiration for a watercolor. Also seen this week on ART NOTES (click on top pic on right sidebar)

The blue is the matte around the the painting which gives you a view (window) of the train.  Then you see the open train window and in the background the windows of the other side.

You can imagine my panic when my then 18 year old blond daughter (looking like she was fourteen) was alone on her Europe tour and decided she would go by train from my brother's house in the South to my other brother's house in the North. 
For a Dutchman who knew all the ins and outs the train trip would take about 4 hours, because my brothers both lived in small villages. Seems perfectly fine and logic, right?
Some parents I knew, raised their eye brows that I just let her go alone, but could I say? I did it since I was 11!.

But...she had never gone  by train in her life, nor had she any idea how to figure out when and how to change trains, or go to another part of the train station (every station is built differently!).
Also, she did not know the Dutch language. You can imagine that I was very relieved when my brother in the North told me he was going to pick her up by car from her previous destination to come to his house.

Don't worry, if you like to make a trip with the Trans-Eurail, the least expensive way to travel Europe. 
This train goes straight to the main cities of Europe without  having to change trains more than once (unless you go to a small town that's off the main track) 
Bon Voyage, mes amis! 
(have a good trip, my friends)


Barry said...

I love trains. I loved commuting to work by train, reading a book and glancing out the window periodically at the long line of drivers stopped at street lights and still having to pay $12 for parking got downtown.

Glad your daughter got there safely.

Gaston Studio said...

Don't worry about your daughter, she'll be fine because you raised her right.

I often wonder how the USA allowed itself to get left out of the whole fast train thing like Europe has had for decades! Just doesn't make sense to me, economically.

rainfield61 said...

I did not have such a close relationship with a train, but I chased after the buses during my school time did make up a good memory for me.

crochet lady said...

Hi Jeannette, thanks for your kind comment on my Prayer Pennies post. I'm glad the words and thoughts were meaningful to you.

I have only every ridden on historic trains, which usually only made short loops around living museum sites, not modern ones. I think I would be rather nervous trying that out as a main source of transportation for the first time. I guess just because it's so new to me. There is no passenger train use in rural WI.

DawnTreader said...

I used to travel by train a lot and liked it. Now I don't because the vibrations increase my neckpains and I have difficulties handling luggage. So I very rarely go anywhere!

From what I hear and read, it has become quite a science just to buy a ticket. In the days when I travelled often by train, you could usually just go to the station and buy your ticket just before you meant to go. These days, they seem to more or less demand that you know three months in advance when and where you want to go, and order the tickets on the internet; or the journey will cost you so much you can't afford it ... ;)

The Green Stone Woman said...

Going by train is still an exciting way to travel through the Netherlands or through Europe. It helps if you can read the on line schedule, but it´s pretty easy once you print it out and carry it with you. You almost can´t go wrong.

jeannette stgermain said...

You're first -an early riser? That's a lot to pay for parking!! The high costs and hassle of it is what make a train ride worth it, whether it's in Amsterdam or L.A. or any big city.

Why the fast trains still aren't here, I wonder if it has to do with the strength of the auto industry?
Luckily when my daughter was there 10 y. ago, my relatives caught on to her innocence quickly LOL

Haha, in my mind I just can see that little boy chasing after the buses! You'll have to go on time on a bus or train, just for the adventure. I think you'll like it.

I understand! Anything new like that raises our heart rate a little:) Come to think of it, I could have posted a few pics of a train museum in the are where I live! Maybe an idea for your posts?

I'm sorry to hear that, Monika. How is driving a car for you (probably not in winter with all that snow, but in general?)
That's crazy about those train tickets!

I can tell that you are used to traveling by train, as many Dutchmen are. There have been a few times that I passed my destination - but when I was young I was quite absent minded:)

Clytie said...

Our area boasts a commuter train - within the past year. I will have to try it sometime, since I haven't been on a train since I was in Germany and rode one from Bavaria to Frankfurt - now THAT was an experience!

Glad your daughter made it okay!

Stephanie V said...

Train travel isn't the usual way to get around here. I was happy to discover trains on our visit to Ireland last summer. It was so easy. I just had to get used to needing more time and not going directly from A to B.

Whitemist said...

I never commuted as a young person and did not take a train till I was in my twenties, but loved the fright trains that would travel through Houston, blocking all traffic (what did i know about being in a hurry?). Always loved seeing the trains, tho i doubt my parents did.

The Muse said...

We still have trains going here...but only for special holidays...i think they are romantic...

I agree, I believe your daughter has had you as a good influence!

dogimo said...

Did you paint that top train as well? It's quite fantastic. As good as a Diebenkorn. The color choice is perfect - such a pale, bleak sky over a bar-graph grid of bold rusts and creams.

I like the pensive traveler in the bottom one. She seems both helpless and mentally prepared, somehow. I guess we're all a bit helpless on a train - being carried along.

jeannette stgermain said...

Bavaria -were you in the Black Forest? (that's South East Bavaria) It's beautiful there. Frankfurt is quite a busy city!
I can imagine that that was an experience, but quite safe compared to the German freeways -you have no idea how fast they go there!

Yes, it's a different mindset, isn't it, than driving a car. And easier if you're used to drive on the right side of the road (I assume they drive on the left as in the UK)

So many good things about our youth, and one is that we don't know about what it is to hurry!! One of the plagues of adulthood is that most of us forget to enjoy things!

I remember that you had some posts in the past about trains (also remember that it was very inventive writing:) )
It's good to enjoy life:)

Sorry to disappoint you, the first pic is a photo. If you know Diebenkorn, you know quite a bit of art, and I also notice that you go for the meaning in a painting! Who are your favorite painters?

dogimo said...

...and I'm not afraid to look a bit the fool! Funny, funny. Ok, in my defense, I clicked on the pic and it got smaller instead of bigger!

I was squinting at it, it crossed my mind it might be a photo! But in the end I said, "no way, it's entirely too painterly."

Brilliant photo!

My fave painters would have to be Magritte, Matisse, and Di Chirico, but there really aren't any of the top old-school modernists who don't have at least a few pieces that I love, truly love. Love Degas, love Cezanne. Dali I find fascinating, though I feel he never lived up to how cool he knew himself to be. DuChamp's great, not so much as a painter though. The names that stick out are kind of a hodge-podge of soulful technicians and smartasses.

Love Bob Ross.

jeannette stgermain said...

You probably came to the conclusion that the first one was a painting, because I reworked it somewhat in Photoshop:)
I'm totally flattered that I tricked you though:)
I agree with all of your choices of painters -I love Matisse too, and I thought your next one would be Picasso!

Now it's my turn to be confused -on your blog you say that your name is "Joe", so are you Joe and Bob?

Sreddy Yen said...

Hi Jeannette! I love train (and plane) trips. It is so intriguing to watch the people come and go as the train approaches different destinations. I like to imagine what these people do at these various places. Lovely water-colour...are you depicting yourself?

DawnTreader said...

Jeannette - I don't drive since ten years. I get tired much too quickly, and would have problems with some movements. So - I pretty much don't go anywhere! (Within town I take the bus.)

dogimo said...

Ah, well I feel less tricked then! It's mixed media. Could I ask what changes you made? I'm interested what needed a tweak?

The composition as-is would make a great painting. Just plot it out on a canvas and rocket forth in oils.

Picasso is one who has pieces I truly love, but overall I'm less moved by his voice than by the others. Obviously he's a near-peerless draftsman, and a stunningly inventive experimenter and theorist.

My name is Joe! I don't know where you're getting Bob?

Oh, - HAHA. You got me. "Love Bob Ross" - no, I was just saying I love Bob Ross. As a painter, and as an evangelist for art.

jeannette stgermain said...

Have you thought on taking lots of pics of what you're watching at a train station and then painting it? (often I take several photos in that case, and combine them)
No, it's not me, I have dark brown hair and am not tall and slender like this woman:) If you remember I had a photo of myself in the side bar, painting.

Sorry to hear about your confinement of travel. But by the mulitude of photos you have shown on your blog, I guess you somehow learned to deal with it:)
Good for you!

Oops, I was not clear enough -it's a photo that I tweaked in photoshop.
I changed the form of the bush/tree in the background-I removed a pole, made the grass darker, and I changed some of the flowerbed colors.

Maybe Picasso is more revered in Europe (I'm from Holland), although I have to say that I do not care for him as a man.

Oh, yes, now I remember Bob Ross -I guess two tricksters have met each other:)

Maggie May said...

oh wonderful.

i LOVE Agatha Christie, and saw the movie Murder a kid. Such a wonderful career she had.

Angie Muresan said...

Oh the train rides of my childhood... How I miss them! Thank you for the reminder, Jeannette.

Paula said...

I'm guessing that she had a wonderful time and was mostly unaware of all the worry. I know my son wouldn't give it a second thought and would be completely mystified if I fussed about it. I love the painting, J, the colors are wonderful and so is the composition.

jeannette stgermain said...

I think hubby has most of her books, and the Sherlock Holmes books,the only modern mysteries he likes are the series of Grisham. What mysteries do you read now?

You're welcome, friend! So I'm not the only one who rode the train a lot -you probably did in Europe?

Glad you like the painting, Paula. She must vaguely have been aware of our worries, because she made her friends promise to secrecy that that the airplane (co.) had lost her luggage (for a week)! But especially with sons it's better to keep worries to oneself LOL!

They do understand when they become parents themselves -one time I overheard my daughters telling one another that their kids were not doing what they did themselves as kids!!

young-ecletic-encounters said...

I wish I could put pictures on the comments. My daughter flys back and forth from Utah to Georgia. I went with her the first time, but now she's a more seasoned traveler then I am. We got pics of her waving off any help and later walking casually into the airport. We don't even park anymore we just drop her off. It's still a little nerve racking for Mom to drop her off at the Atlanta Airport one of the busiest in the world but she does just fine.

jeannette stgermain said...

I understand this nerve racking business very well! But maybe it's also a generational thing. I started flying about 20 years before my parents took their first flight!

In our life time transportation and traffic has taken off with such a leap, it's mind boggling.

Anonymous said...

I always found it exciting to travel by train in europe and I thought it was the coolest thing that they could split components of a train apart and add them onto other lines in other regions or other countries. What coordination! And it is a great metaphor too, where we may all intermingle on the same line for a short time, but like most of us, we all have different final destinations, where we splinter off onto new tracks to explore.

jeannette stgermain said...

Natural Moments,
In Europe they had so many years more experience with it! It's ingenious, but you don't think about it, when you discover that you're in the wrong part and go to Italy, while you want to go to France:)
You are very philosophical and able to express it in the appropriate way -ever thought about teaching?

Dick said...

Hé die trein komt me bekend voor en ook die mooie bollenvelden. Ja het is heel vervelend dat treinen splitsen, ooit een keer had ik m'n kaartje al op het tafeltje klaargelegd voor de conducteur, toen werd er omgeroepen dat we naar het voorste treinstel moesten, nou je raad het al zeker? Gelukkig geen controle meer daarna maar het was geen plezierige reis.
Ik vergeet iedere keer dat ik hier ook in het nederlands kan commentaren, had een stuk makkelijker geweest voor mijn comment in je laatste bericht.

jeannette stgermain said...

Ze maken die kaartjes te klein!! Zo gemakkeljk om ze te verliezen. Je had geluk dat ze geen controle hadden bij de uitgang!
Jouw Engels is heel erg goed, maar als 't gemakkelijker is in 't Nederlands, ga gerust je gang!