Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Train Jumping

     I jumped my first train when I was in junior high school.  I met a kid in my homeroom class who knew the ins and outs of truancy, bus riding, note forgery and the likes.  He also knew everything about train jumping.
     Hey, my grandfather was a railroad man…. this might be right up my alley.  So I eagerly signed on to this adventure.  We rode the train from North Austin all the way to McNeil Road (farther North Austin), and then jumped onto a return train and back to our bicycles that we had stashed in a culvert.
     I discovered that train jumping was exhilarating fun and quite the exciting experience.  My parents never found out (although I have a feeling that my mother has fainted in her chair as she is reading this!)  Bad news travels fast these 38 years later.

     So, if you’re an artist, where does this little tale fit in?  Well, I say you should jump the artistic train.  Take a chance and see if exhilaration won’t pay you a visit.  The good thing about train jumping is that it applies to the professional artist as well as the beginner.
     If you’re just starting out, try a few trains.  You’ve got nothing to lose but some time and experimentation.  You will be surprised at what throwing caution to the wind might turn up.  For the more experienced artist, consider this:  We all know that an artistic rut can wreak havoc on our creativity.  Many times we languish in our old ways, stuck with a medium or palette or subject matter that just isn’t the vision we were originally after. 
     Jumping the train for a short run down the rails might be all you need to loosen up and find a new direction or to kindle a new passion.  Jumping the artistic train can be all you need to get back on track, and it’s safer than the real deal.  At least this way you won’t have to stash your bike!


  1. How funny, has your Mom called yet, bet she will have a few choice thoughts. Great analogy

    David McMullen

  2. Mark, I thought I knew where you were at all times when you were a boy! Well think again! Training Jumping and bicycles stashed in culvert, I was shocked! I know that God answered my prayers but He must have been busy. Thank you, Lord. I just wonder what else I will be learning in the future, scares me to death!