Railway art has existed as long as there have been Railways. Many famous names have included some aspect of railways in their paintings, notably Claude Monet and J M W Turner. This tradition has been kept alive by the formation in the UK of the Guild of Railway Artists, which now consists of over 200 artists, of which Jonathan Clay is one. Over the last few years, Jonathan has had many requests to produce his own book of pictures, and, having relented at last, this is the result. In order to save time for his first ever railway event in 1999, he painted a series of locomotive pictures without backgrounds, intending to add the scenery later. However, they sold so well, that they became the norm, and the series of 'Locomotive Portraits' was born.
Jonathan Clay has become one of the best known transport artists in the UK. He has produced over 1100 paintings and drawings, of which over 730 are of his well-known and widely-acclaimed 'Locomotive Portraits'. His pictures now hang on homes, railway buildings, and museums all over the world. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was an enthusiastic train- and bus-spotter, and began to draw and paint seriously. In the mid 1970s he held exhibitions of his work in Lancashire, and even had a display of motor racing paintings on show at the Donington Park Racing car museum, in 1979.