Archive for the ‘Machine’ Category

The Liverpool

August 11, 2017
A locomotive drawing after Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis, a drawing by Torsten Slama, showing the

The Liverpool (after Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis). pencil, coloured pencil, acrylics, 40×29.7cm

This drawing’s slogan:  “The good old times weren’t good, just old”.  Someone said that and it is not at all clear what they meant. It seems to be something you say when you want to be philosophical, maybe nearing the end of your own time. The steam locomotive stands for old values, which are not good, just old. In truth most friends of steam believe yes, the values are good, not old. The steam engine also is something which enthusiasts describe as an object evoking ecstatic feelings of awe when first beheld. It hisses, has pressure, is a promise of good and functional sexuality. The image of the steam engine says more in the realm of culture, symbolism, and pictorialism then in terms of the actual object depicted. It says something about the owner or the creator of the image. Or rather, it used to say something. Today all is possible, or nothing. Please note the unpainted or stripped totem pole which does look slightly cock-eyed, a phallic symbol introducing the element of anachronism and dislocation. The flying object is perceived by some as a pill of  the capsule type, it is rather an oblong paraphrase of something spherical, a type of artistic quote. UFO enthusiasts know the artist referenced. Mostly everybody else also. An anagram: GREATER MIENT.  The creator of the totem in the foreground is an anonymous North American Indian. Or rather, this totem is actually a faux totem, as it has different parts from different totems, rearranged, and an atypical base construction. It is possibly hollow and made from acrylics. The creator (engineer) of the Engine is unknown to the author of this drawing, but surely known to the creator of the original painting this drawing pays homage to. That painter is Cuthbert Hamilton Ellis, who usually knew a lot about the engines he painted, as he was seeing his paintings really as substitutes for colour photographs in his learned books specializing on Edwardian railway lore.
Rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board “The good old times were not good, just old”

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The Engine of Confidence

June 6, 2017
Drawing after the New Zealand railway painter W.W.

The Confident Engine (after W.W. “Bill” Stewart). pencil, coloured pencil, acrylics, 40×29.7cm

This drawing is based on a painting by the late New Zealand railway painter W.W. Stewart. The New Zealand railway station  and the engine was transplanted into a landscape of possibly Triassic character and the people decorating the scenery were eliminated. More specific information about the engine and the railway line could be obtained by a knowledgeable New Zealand railway buff. This artist, in full possession of his artistic prerogative to be weak-suited in terms of research, failed to do so. The copycat artist, having confidence issues, wants to strengthen the impact or poignancy of his drawing by adding the following impromptu piece of poetry (please observe the judicially placed punctuation; a mark of poetry):

Go, Engine of Confidence,
Go your way.
Unencumbered by self-doubt
Say it loud!
You have no capacity for self-doubt.

You are long in the tooth,
wide in the hip
You go on every trip
With confidence.

Engineered to do your best
Not concerned with all the rest
Your path might be crooked
Perspective unsound
Your wheels go round and round
Until you stop.

You are the horse of steel,
A projectile
In fashionable livery
That is your way
Oh could I be
Like you.  Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Steam Traction Board

Natural Gas Generator for the Eurasian Market

November 9, 2015
Natural Gas Generator painted by Torsten Slama

Waukescha Natural Gas Generator for the Eastern European Region and Asia (45x34cm, oil, spirulina, and glitter pigments on canvas mounted on wood)

This painting, as subtly alluring in its pallette as in the choice of special and unusual pigments, cannot be adequately represented in photography (even when captured with a sensor especially suited to register finest colour nuances without sacrificing exactitude and focus). In fact, even the human eye is a sensor too coarse and surface-bound to understand that painting in this case is not only the coating or covering of a surface with paints of appropriate consistency and opacitiy in a way which concentrates too much on the where and too little on the when, but the loving and time consuming application of a multitude of layers of different degrees of opaqueness or transparency. The ultimate goal is not recognizable or symbolic representation, but the creation of an image with depth, in which even the first insecure tracings and irregular activities of a tentative and searching brush are still detectable under a potentially limitless number of successively applied layers, each adding its own share of happy accidents. The resulting depth is never a strictly two-dimensional and optical phenomenon. The true painting of value always has unique and custom made surface characteristics. The author of this painting is indebted to the teachings of the late Bob Ross, but chose to go the way of stretching production time instead of compressing it. By doing so, he could circumvent the adverse effects of a rushed production, namely that the perceived overall quality of the product suffers under a glance more scrutinizing and resting than fleeting and cursory. This painting is intended to satisfy on the happy accident level as well as on the level of more method-result based western observation systems striving for overall recognizability, structure, and order.

More content related thoughts about the desirability of finding interdependent grid solutions for the application of small unit solutions to medium scale energy requirements over unified and in most regards more hazardous, if theoretically and practically more efficient, large scale energy production solutions, will not be amplified upon here. This space is dedicated to the discussion of technical merits of the painting, not of the depicted object and the ideas it represents.Atmospheric rendering © 2021 by Torsten Slama and the International Interdependent Energy Grid Board