Chris Oldham Biography

View Art by Chris Oldham

Chris Oldham (Contemporary) Chris has been interested in railways since he was a boy. A family trip on the Union Pacific’s “City of Los Angeles” from Denver to LA in 1970 provided the spark for what has been a life-long passion for trains. Since then, Chris has watched and photographed railroads across the continent, in Europe and New Zealand. During his college years in New England, he watched the last few years of the independent Boston & Maine. And while in law school in Michigan, Chris spent some of his rare free time watching the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton and Ann Arbor Railroads before they were subsumed. Having lived most of his life in the West, Chris has spent many hours at trackside from Sherman Hill to Tehachapi Pass to the British Columbia Railway. Chris has taken thousands of train slides and collected hundreds more. In addition, Chris has an extensive library of railroad-related books and magazines. These personal experiences and resources provide a wealth of information on which Chris can draw to accurately depict a particular scene.

Chris has also been a model railroader for many years having worked in HO-scale for the last 25 years. His basement-sized model railroad, the “prototypically-freelanced” Allegheny & New England, is based on the anthracite railroads of Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley in particular.

A self-taught artist, Chris has loved to draw and paint for his entire life. His paintings seek to evoke a particular nostalgia for the North American landscape and to stir a sense of adventure railroads create. Chris strives for accuracy while at the same time keeping his work within the realm of fine art. While his work focuses on trains, he also enjoys painting aircraft and landscapes.

Chris's painting "Out of Rico" is featured on the cover of the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette.

California Watercolor