David Weston has been painting the railway scene
over the past forty years and this book reflects the
great variety of subject matter that the artist has
produced during that time.
Born in 1935 he well remembers the days of the
ĎBig Fourí companies prior to the birth of British
Railways in 1948. However, the end of the steam
era during the 1960s is what inspired him to paint,
not only the glory days of the steam years, but also
the run-down and eventual demolition of
locomotives in the scrapyards of those years.
His series of twenty-four large canvases commissioned
by Sir William McAlpine on the History of the British
Steam Locomotive enjoyed a three year tour of UK
galleries and museums, including the Laing Gallery in
Newcastle upon Tyne and the Royal Scottish Museum
in Edinburgh. The exhibition was spotted by His
Royal Highness Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, who
invited David and his patron to Buckingham Palace
for an informal chat about the work and the subject
of industry and the arts.
As the title suggests Letting Off Steam also provides
the artist with an opportunity to reflect on his life and
times, often with gentle humor, and on the decline of
our railways, and the demise of the countryís pride in
her industrial heritage.
Letting Off Steam is a celebration of Davidís
atmospheric paintings of the era and of the locomotives
that have inspired his work. Treasured by all who
share the artistís passion for railways, the book will be
enjoyed also for its insight into the life and work of this
Imprint: Halstar. ISBN 978 1 906690 08 3, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published April 2009. Reprinted January 2010.