Dunsmuir is a railroad town and what better place to spend the night in Dunsmuir than a caboose?
The resort was first envisioned as a railway museum with a collection of rolling sock. The museum idea fell through. In 1968, the original owners, Bill and Delberta Murphy opened the Railroad Park Resort as a railroad-themed hotel with accommodations being in cabooses.
The resort now has 28 different cabooses to stay in and is a rail fan’s paradise. One prominent feature is the 1927 Willamette three-truck Shay logging locomotive on static display. There are only six of these Willamette locomotives in existence.The Shay rests besides a wooden water tower.
The resort also features a restaurant that is housed in three passenger coaches. Dining was closed due to the pandemic but was open for take out with caboose-delivery. I was treated with a tasty ravioli and a Caesar salad.
To represent the Railroad Park Resort in my journal I decided to paint the Shay and the water tower near the entrance to the park (featured sketch). For this approach I pulled up a sketching chair near the soothing water fountain and I decided to block in the shapes of the locomotive and water tower in loose, broad paint strokes. I was not so concerned with fitting the entire locomotive on the page, nor was I interested in rendering every detail. This is the sort of painting that if a bystander where to look over my shoulder, would think I have the artistic talent of a brown trout. But out this spattered chaos, you slowly form the image with pen work, once the paint has dried.
The challenge of drawing a Shay is the complexities of it gears. It you look at it as a whole it is daunting but if you break it down to small, manageable shapes, it is doable.