Steam engines and a boys fascination

Daddy’s drawing steamies‘ is a sentence regularly used by my, now almost 2 year old, Daughter. And you can’t blame her as when I’m not busy spreading the word about Frugi I spend many an hour in my other guise as a Heritage Painter.

Fowler Ploughing Steam Engine Artwork by Stephen Bedser

From Old Buildings and Mining Landscapes to all those fabulous steam related scenes, I paint them all. Of course it’s the latter that excites kids, and admittedly bigger kids too! Good old Thomas the Tank Engine provides for many an early  introduction to Steam Engines but for me it was the fact I lived nearby the Watercress Line Heritage Railway. Those grand old machines gently sizzling in a siding or taking the strain in front of a line of carriages, whilst projecting steam and smoke profusely, made this boy’s eyes as wide as saucers. Being keen on art I drew them whenever I could. And lets face it, never stopped!

Now, somewhat older, I’m preparing my artwork for the institution that is the Steam Rally. This weekend is the turn of the Boconnoc Steam Fair. For three days my artwork and I will reside in the craft tent next to Boconnoc House as Traction Engines trundle up and down the estate to the delight of visitors and most definitely children, whilst creating sights and smells of days gone by. And if the weather is fine, which it actually looks like it will be, in the evenings I will be sitting in amongst the Engines, sketchbook and paints at hand, still recording the sights that captured my imagination so much as a boy!

The Boconnoc Steam Fair runs from 20th – 22nd July in Cornwall, for more details visit their website.

You can follow my weekend of Steam Nostalgia and Paintings via Cornishinc on my Twitter account or Facebook page.


  1. Helen

    Wow! So many talented artists at Frugi… Stephen, Helene… Must be something in the pastys down there!

    • Stephen

      Well I ate a fair few over the weekend, seemed appropriate with all the engines trundling around 🙂

  2. Stephen

    ..can’t vouch for Helene’s pasty habits mind

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