Jeff Ellingson is a commissioned artist, who lives, loves, and paints trains. He first encountered the railroad when he was 11 years old. “I’d hear the whistle on 32nd Street,” he recalls, “jump on my ten speed, and ride on over to scope out the yard… have it all to myself when nobody else was there. There’s something about an abandoned railroad yard. All the old engines just sitting there, not steamed up… just waiting. There was a lot of special energy there.”
The energy is still there, and now, there are a number of locomotives in the Roundhouse—some steam, some now diesel or oil. And, today, Jeff is still scoping out that railyard, now home to the (Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad) Roundhouse Museum. Jeff is the curator, and some of his beautiful paintings are on display there. In his 37 years with the railroad, Jeff has worked as engineer, fireman, conductor, and railroad car restoration artisan. When he’s not in the Roundhouse, conducting tours or giving talks about trains, he’s home in his studio, painting them.