Heath Claiborne Gallery
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5 'til 4 (Train Crossing in Old Jefferson City)

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5 'til 4 (Train Crossing in Old Jefferson City)

  Heath gave this painting its unusual title because the time was five minutes until four o'clock when a train flew by this crossing. He had been sketching the area waiting for a train to pass and cause the light to flash. The strange title was also intended to prevent the immediate recognition that the scene was a train crossing. Through the use of the three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow, 5 'til 4 commands the viewer's attention. Also, while the placement of elements in the dead center of a painting is an artistic rule rarely broken because it can cause visual static, the placement of a bright red circle in the middle of this piece suggests that some rules are meant to be broken. 5 'til 4 was the first watercolor Heath ever painted.