From electric to acrylic, trains have always been a curiosity and a ticket to success for artist Fred Bonn.
A native Californian, Bonn
became interested in locomotives during his
childhood when he
watched, in awe, the great Iron Horses race past his
house in Reno, NV.
And over the years the city of chance must have had some influence on him - in midstream he
decided to gamble on a new career.
wasn't about to let 10 years of experience in technical illustration, drafting, and commercial art go up in smoke, or was he?
In 1970, he
aerospace job and began to devote full attention to painting.
The first few years were difficult, but it was inevitable that his
bright, colorful pen-an-ink and acrylic paintings of early Western railroads would catch the public's eye.
"A lot of train paintings depict an old engine on a deserted field," said Bonn
A few years ago Fred
was commissioned by the California Western line to paint their 1924 Baldwin steam engine called the Super Skunk.
rode the Skunk some 80 miles through the redwoods of Northern California.
is also fond of rural scenes, Victorian houses, cars and World War II planes.
The planes are painted as "authentic" copies and displayed in dogfight situations.
The cars are very casual and somewhat exaggerated in shape.
In fact, this self-admitted car nut has a classic '57 Chevy convertible.
has come a long way as an artist since he