The Gandy Dancers Original Mixed Media Painting

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Gandy Dancers 1MB.jpeg
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The Gandy Dancers Original Mixed Media Painting

5,800.00

72x36 inches  |  ready to hang
acrylic, watercolor paper, kraft paper, ink on stained birch panel

The Jobs of Yesteryear series combines history and surrealism to tell the stories of obsolete jobs. A contemporary glimpse into the past, these mixed media paintings serve as a reminder of time and stories long forgotten.

This particular Job of Yesteryear mixed media painting features gandy dancers. "Gandy dancer" is a slang term for a railroad worker, referring to the "gandy", a flat shovel that they would use to tamp down the filler rocks that kept the tracks in place. The gandy dancers in this piece are traveling on a handcar, an important vehicle in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Pumping a handcar was grueling work, especially when weighed down by the tools of the trade. At their peak usage, there were over 15,000 handcars in operation in the US, but they were eventually replaced by the motor section car ("speeder") and most were scrapped during World War I & II.

The Gandy Dancers was created using only three colors of acrylic paint, which gives the work a monochromatic theme of warm greys and creams. Overall, it has the feel of a tattered black and white photograph steeped in history. The long-limbed character was crafted using hundreds of hand-torn bits of kraft paper collaged on top of watercolor paper and painted with acrylic wash. This unique process brings the character to life and makes the forgotten job the focal point of the painting. The technology or innovation which ultimately led to the job becoming obsolete, a motor section car, is included in the painting. See an illustrated guide of my process here.

The Jobs of Yesteryear are thought-provoking conversation pieces that will bring an air of history and whimsy to any room.

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