A watercolor of Canadian National extra 6030 at Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. A black locomotive with its bright centered light illuminated appears to be heading directly at the viewer, while what is likely a grain train curves behind to the left. An elevator, signal, telegraph poles, and a wooden railroad building fill the focal plane; dry grasses are in the foreground. The upper two-thirds of the picture is filled with a black plume and a gray sky, while brighter light surrounds the train and buildings.
This is Ted Rose's first commercial watercolor, painted for his summer employer, Kalmbach Publishing Co., in 1961, when he was only 20. It appeared on the jacket of "Canadian Steam!" and has become famous. The full title is "On the Prairies, Where the Wheat Grows and the Sun Comes Up Yellow in the East." Rose also designed the book.
An incredible achievement for a college student in art. Rose's use of light to emphasize the train and other railroad elements in the picture was characteristic of his early photographs and later watercolors.