By: Jacob Hawthorne
Gallery: Schmidt Fine Art Gallery
Schmidt Fine Art Gallery presents: A Tale of Two Trains
Oh, to be a stowaway on a desert train, just kicking back on a cozy bail of hay and gripping tightly to your hobo bindle. From your cozy nook in the caboose, the steady rocking of the train tries to woo you to sleep while the unbearable desert sun beats down like a heavy blanket that you can’t lift. Your only salvation in avoiding the deadly desert slumber is the slight breeze coming from the freight door that is slightly cracked ajar as the train rolls on. Peeking your head out for air, the desert landscape whizzes by yet stays amazingly still, no end in sight to this barren canvas. Against Jack Johnson’s wishes, you certainly hope this old train won’t break down.
Oh, to be a conductor on a desert train, just kicking back in the pilot seat of the locomotive and gripping tightly to your corn cob pipe. There is nothing but flat, straight expanses for very long distances, so the train runs itself as you diligently watch out for train bandits or robber barons, fully knowing that possibility is long gone, a concept from decades ago, but it’s fun to pretend. The locomotive is outfitted with air conditioning and countless fans, so the impalpable heat of the desert is but a distant thought, and the conductor remains blissfully unaware of the harsh realities inflicting the rest of the train and its trespassing passengers.
This desert train image, captured by Kelli Lowe, tells a tale highlighting the dichotomy of classes, using desert trains as a conduit, a conductor. Train puns aside, Desert Train by Lowe captures the earth tones and barren landscapes found on the typical desert landscape. The greyish browns of the desert sand dunes serve as a smooth canvas to contrast the sparse greens of the desert succulent and wildgrasses. The rising desert mountains in the background of the image seems to foreshadow an impending blockage or barrier to this train’s progress, representing how Mother Nature is always able to humble human progress. The brilliant, heavenly blue sky high above the peaks of the desert mountains seems almost unattainable from the audience perspective, with the looming desert topography as a beautiful obstacle.
Although at one point a dangerous method of travel, desert trains today are regarded as a popular tourist attraction. Tourists come from all over to ride trains that traverse the Sahara desert, or the Mauritania railway that runs through the Mauritania desert. The Desert Wind was an old Amtrak railway that ran through the deserts of California, and there are many historic train systems that run through Arizona deserts.
Deserts are regions and ecosystems where precipitation is a highly infrequent occurrence. Some reports indicate that these arid areas receive less than 10 inches of rain a year. And although most deserts are commonly described as empty, barren, and lifeless, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Deserts support the lives of a large variety of animals, plants, and organisms. For thousands of years, humans have readily adapted to living in the desert. Mastering the art of camelback, we humans have been able to traverse the desert landscapes with relative ease. Approximately one billion people call the desert home, one billion! This is due to the fact that deserts can be found on every continent and make up about a fifth of the land area on Earth.
The most renowned topographical feature of deserts is that they get very hot, with daytime temperatures reaching as high as 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius). However, there are actually other deserts that are cold year-round or have cold winters. But the one topographical feature that all deserts have in common is that they are dry and arid, and the precipitation in deserts is often greatly surpassed by the amount of evaporation that takes place; so, there is little to no life-giving water readily available for desert life.
In the United States and Mexico, the Chihuahuan Desert has daily temperatures that may vary by dozens of degrees in a single 24-hour period. Daytime temperatures in the Chihuahua can reach upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), while nighttime temperatures fall to near freezing at 32 degree Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
Although seemingly empty and sparse with life, the
Whether you are an aspiring photographer or an art collector in search of inspiring works to fill your home, Schmidt Fine Art Gallery is here to service you. We are a gallery for the artist by the artist. Our mission is to serve as the place for artists to simply sell art, without the overburdening of promotion, marketing and running a start-up business. We are committed to producing high-quality, museum grade products and timeless works of art that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Schmidt Gallery was founded by Kurt Schmidt with the vision to establish a photo-centric gallery in the heart of Montgomery county, Texas. Although it is all run online at the moment, Schmidt Gallery has dreams of opening up a brick and mortar gallery in The Woodlands just north of Houston. Schmidt Fine Art Gallery was founded in March 2020 as a startup funded by All ARK LLC.