For some years now I been doing some graphic T-shirts with a local motorcycle shop. The shop's name is Mile Zero out on Vancouver Island. I’ve got to know the owner, who’s a good guy. It’s a classic motorcycle shop, not a soulless chain/branch operation. I own a Suzuki which was purchased through the shop. Loving motorcycles since childhood, I offered some of my drawings as possible T-shirts to the shop. For the love of it, here are some of what has been done. That’s Mile Zero motorsports in Ladysmith, BC - themilezero.com
Mile Zero Love
As a kid, I did build a few model kits. It was there that I first fell in love with the box art and the diagrams that made up the instructions. When building a model I could explore the freshly opened box of pieces attached to the “tree”. Plus the sheet of decals to apply. Oh joy! Youthful ecstasy.
Later while attending an open house at the Alberta College of Art & Design I saw a number of technical renderings done by graduating students. I loved what I saw! Later while attending the ACAD, I encountered many alternate influences. The combination of design & art still informs my work to this day.
Number seven in my ongoing series. The edges are hand cut, not masked.
I respect sewing machines. Their presence has always spoke to me of the sewing together of art and technical knowledge. My respect for those that operate a sewing machine skillfully is large. The machine’s working parts have always struck me with their intricacy. The mechanical elements of the pressure foot & needle are a composite of a bird’s leg or landing gear from an aircraft, plus an element of a snow ski. Then there are the myriad of combinations that are available in the different stitches. I still enjoy the tactile quality of the mechanical push button machines. I offer this image as praise to the spirit of the creators and operators of the machine. The sewing machine.
The two tiny items hung around my desktop for the last couple of years. As I looked at them from time to time they drew me in. The plastic manufactured quality of the bull. A bull that small, it made the pin look large. Thoughts about bull fights where the bull is killed by stabbing it. To stab a bull that small one would only need a pin?.... Bull Pin not bullpen.....the black of the bull with white horns & a red topped pin. The red a foreboding?…..Why did I painting this?..... freedom to entertain my non linear thoughts..... seven has been considered a lucky number, but maybe not for this bull...... structural drawing & painting to support an open ended entanglement of two random items that have fermented in my thoughts.
A debutante of the past. Her chipped nose, missing flowers and spotted gown symbolize the fall we take with age. Her patina is what drew me to her. The early youthful naiveté under a layer of experience. She is that enduring belle of the dust to which we all shall return.
While waiting in a local thrift store I saw this little chipped fellow waiting for another shelf to collect dust on. The sticker with a wax crayon note said it all for me.
Starting 2019 with a nod to some public power.
Digging with a Puck
Recent observations with a little carpentry. I still have all my fingers.
I returned to the subject of a bridge recently. It was again on highway #3, the Crowsnest Pass through southern British Columbia. The orange of the structure is what drew me in, as did the graphics of the signage. I find the graphic orange colour & structure acts as a bridge between the two dimensional nature of the signage and the environment. The bridge is both subject and a link for me.
My inspiration for working on the Suzuki motorcycle piece titled “Gixxer” is from model kit box art, and the love of process. In developing my drawing for the final art I have been frustrated at times with the drawing process being lost under the painting. The thinking and construction lines are a layer of record that can add a depth. I’ve used an approach in constructing my own panels for years in this piece. It’s a laminated panel that layers-in my original drawing with a top coat to seal the drawing. In painting colour I want to capture the drawing and painting in equal parts.
Flower & Tiger
It’s winter and my activities are more inside. The sun’s low in the sky, and the days are short. A breath of warmth is through an orchid that resides on our kitchen table. The little gem holds it’s bloom for quite along time. At least compared to other potted and pampered offerings. When having a coffee or sitting to eat, this little friend pleasantly offers it’s beauty. It whispers warmer days are ahead.
Camaro & Dirt Bike
I think it was the combination of the flat bone white bleached paint with dry grass, plywood clad garage, the tar papered house, in a yard that looked forgotten & sadly beautiful at the same time. The car, a Camaro, looked as though it had not moved in quite some time. The plates seem current, but the registration tags didn't. If a car could have a personality this one seemed to wear a mullet. A hero of an era that had passed. The symbol of earlier muscle cars that had roared, then faded to be replaced by a pale stand-in like this one. A symbol of main street cruzin’ cool, and V8 power that had long ago been castrated. Hmmm …brings to mind the song by The Dead Milkmen, Bitchin’ Camaro.