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As a way of learning about Australia’s past we have been focusing on a new painting each week that depicts a moment in the evolution of our country. This week’s painting was Second Class: A Parting by Abraham Solomon. The artwork, completed during Solomon’s train obsessed period, is a raw, honest portrayal of the multitude of emotions experienced by a family farewelling their son and brother as he embarks on the long journey to from England to Australia to seek his fortune in the gold rush. The emotional scene is neatly contained within the curved walls of a train carriage. As a way of getting inside the artists head we decided to take a little art focused train trip ourselves.


I forgot how exciting everything can be to a kid. What in my mind was a simple ride on a train to do a little drawing became became a thrilling adventure full of wonderful machines…IMG_8759

…that magically gift you with tickets that…


…defeat ominous symbols glowing from unknown obstacles


I also forgot how upset Sabi would be when she was told she was too young for a ticket, oh boy there was tears. Luckily her ten year old sister has just recently outgrown the need to jump up and down with excitement and sqeee loudly when given a ticket. She happily handed hers over to Sabi and so saved the day.


Lilly read the platform safety rules and Eli made sure he could stand as close as possible without breaking the yellow line rule.


The train ride up the mountain was surprisingly packed full of people so it was impossible to get out our drawing things, this didn’t stop Lilly being so excited I thought her smile was going to wrap right the way round her face and meet itself at the other side.


Out of the train we headed straight to a bakery for afternoon tea. Sabi found her reflection an entertaining companion.


mmmm sweet things yum!


Mr cool trying his hardest not to smile.


We then went and squealed around at a park for awhile…


…before heading back to the train station to wait for the train home.


This time the emptiness of the carriage gave us the freedom to sit together as a family.


The square framed suburban paintings that flashed passed our hungry eyes brought us back to the mission we had set out to accomplish.


The bigger kids sketched away happily… IMG_8845

…while Daddy tried to subdue Sabi’s boundless energy.


I love how the kids learn so much more than I plan for them to explore when we go out with learning in mind. As they drew they peppered us with questions about the workings of the train and voiced  their observations of the differences from the carriages Soloman painted in the past and the one we road in today. I was happy today, any day where one of your offspring shouts across a crowded platform “This is the best day ever!!” has to make you smile right?

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One Response to Homeschool excursion following in Abraham Soloman’s train carriages.

  1. Kathryn Coard says:

    As your painting was called “A Parting”, we should have come down to see you off!! Glad you had a fun time.

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