Canadian artist, Wentworth D. Folkins is internationally recognized as one of the world's most accomplished watercolour artists of steam railroading subjects. His love of steam trains, and his unusual talent in depicting them, come from close association with railways beginning in childhood. Folkins' father, Otty Folkins, was an engineer on the Canadian National Railway in the early years of this century.
Wentworth grew up in the "Golden Age" of steam and this could explain the technical accuracy of his work which has captivated train buffs and collectors of railroad art. Wentworth did not simply paint trains, he painted the heritage and relevance of trains of an "era gone by" which many of us would still love to remember.
Born in Cochrane, Ontario, on August 12, 1928, Wentworth Folkins lived in the small northern Ontario community attending both Primary and High School in the town. In the 1950's he moved to Toronto and graduated from the Ontario College of Art, then taught at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute for a number of years before devoting himself to painting full time.
Because the elder Folkins was a railroad man, the family had a Canadian National pass to travel yearly anywhere in North America. The Folkins family chose to visit small towns and you can see a determined denial of the big city, urban drift and technological progress in Wents' work. His focus on steam trains is an anchor that keeps his imagination firmly rooted in small towns - in a way of life that once was.
Wentworth D. Folkins died on August 29, 1993, from cancer. His memory lives on in his watercolour paintings, and also with his son Jeff, daughter-in-law Nancy, four grandchildren and his many friends. The remembrance of fond past nostalgia and the heritage of our country was Wentworth's achievement in all of his paintings.
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