Modelling inspiration from railway art

Pete Kelly fondly remembers railway artist Barry H Freeman BA, GRA, whose magnificent ‘Winter Wayfarers’ painting is our main Christmas cover illustration.

Maybe it’s an old-fashioned thing, but I used to love the special artwork that always graced the Christmas issues of the Dandy and Beano, especially in the early-to-mid 1950s, when their title pieces would be especially framed and topped by crisp, fresh falls of snow and other wonderful seasonal embellishments.

The artists who produced such work at D C Thomson’s of Dundee were a breed apart, exercising their considerable skills, won over many years of hard experience, week in and week out, and such happy memories were on my mind when I began searching for a fitting image for the cover of this 56-page issue.The answer had been staring me in the face for years – a signed and framed print by the late Barry H Freeman, called ‘Winter Wayfarers’, that had hung on a wall at my home ever since I’d visited him and his wife Mary during my Railway Magazine days to write a feature about his work in a series of articles about Britain’s top railway artists.

Seeing my enthusiasm for this particular painting, Barry willingly gave me a copy of the high-quality print with the pencilled message ‘To Peter, with many thanks’ – but the thanks are all due to Barry, one of the finest railway artists we ever had, for granting me the honour of interviewing him for The Railway Magazine, which was founded in 1897 and thankfully is now in the Mortons stable that also produces this modelling newspaper.

For the full article, see the December edition of Modelling – available now!

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