A much-loved painting of a small, out of the way place….Art for Writers
I’m guessing that any New Zealander reading this will recognise this picture of a remote railway station painted in the 1930s. It has become an iconic 20th century image and was voted New Zealand’s most loved painting in a television poll. I’m not surprised as it is strong and unpretentious and the choice of this shed of a station – a very unpainterly subject – says a lot about the artist Rita Angus and the country she was trying to represent.
I gather she developed her own style, independent from whatever other artists were doing and, although her paintings are simple and accessible, almost like a poster, they are rich in meaning.
As a writing exercise, be that man waiting for a train. Or perhaps he is not waiting at all, but has just got off and is now contemplating his next move. He is tiny compared to the mountains around him and on his own, but he doesn’t seem lonely. Who is he? Could he be the change that will transform the area, and is he planning to build something out of the planks in front of him? Create a reason for him being at Cass and make him more than a man in a suit.
Rita Angus specialised in landscapes and portraits – they are gorgeous. Check her out if – like me – you’re new to her work.
If you enjoyed this, there’s a pretty good chance you’d also like my writing guide Back to Creative Writing School. Nearly 90 five star reviews on Amazon…just saying.
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