Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Farm Memories

It seems like old farms in the rural areas of Utah and I'm sure other places are almost like outdoor museums displaying historic relics of times gone by.  You'll find everything from horse drawn plows to tractors from the 1960's, manure spreaders from the 1920's to grain trucks from the 70's and everything in between.  Sometimes you'll come across items that aren't even farm implements such as antique gas pumps or manual washing machines and more.  Of course my favorite "farm finds" are old trucks and tractors.

art painting palette knife truck Chevy antique abandoned

"Farm Memories"

16" X 20", Acrylic on panel

I found this old Chevy flatbed truck in this painting in the small Sanpete County town of Fountain Green.  It was actually part of a display that could be called an outdoor museum of sorts.  Not only were tractors displayed with it but an old wood barn was there covered in old signs, license plates and hubcaps.

fine art photograph old barn sign vintage Phillps 66

Cool, huh?  This is just one of those special treats you just might find while wandering the back roads.

The painting was done entirely with a palette knife.  On the body I tried to keep the palette knife strokes simple, just lay them down and leave them alone, it created a bit of a patchwork effect yet the form of the body is still quite clear.  I just love these kinds of visual tricks that make an abstract application of paint look like something recognizable.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Hemi Hot Rod

I like my hot rods "old school", which means I like the traditional styling from the late 40's into the early 60's.  To me that era was the epitome of cool in the hot rod and custom car world.  It can be hard to find a car around here built strictly to that style, many come close but then install modern street radials which often kill the look.  I admire a car owner that keeps true to the old school aesthetic, it isn't exactly easy and you have to give up a bit of comfort and drivability, to me the look is worth it.

"Hemi Hot Rod"

12" X 16" Acrylic on panel

The hot rod depicted in this painting is one of those cars that gets it right.  The early hemi engine makes this ride even sweeter.  The Chrysler corporation hemispherical engines were in the thick of the early overhead valve engine displacement wars of the early 1950's and so were a prime candidate for an engine swap into a Model A Ford or '32 Ford hot rod like this one.  This is one of my favorite local cars, I love it.

I feel this is one of my most successful abstraction attempts to date, as abstract as the engine is I think anybody that's into vintage cars will recognize it as an early hot rodded with four single barrel carbs and lakester headers.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Abstract Red Tractor

By the late 1960's tractors were becoming more angular in design, more modern I guess but a little less visually appealing.  However most still didn't have cabs, fenders and fully enclosed engine bays yet so that can still make interesting art subjects.

art painting tractor farmall red abandoned abstract

"Red Abstract Tractor"

11" X 14", Acrylic on panel

The tractor that is the subject of this painting is an example of the direction the designs were going by the mid 60's, though it might be hard to tell since I painted it semi-abstract using a palette knife.  The tractor in my reference photo was actually missing the hood, but I'm fairly confident it was a Farmall by International Harvester. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Abstract Johnny

For some people all tractors are green, as in John Deere green.  Early John Deere tractors are often referred to as "Johnny's", or "Poppin' Johnny's" if they are running the two cylinder engine that kind of "pops" as the tractor lopes long.

"Abstract Johnny"

20" X 16", Acrylic on panel

Lately abstraction has been on my mind.  Not that I want to paint abstracts, but rather I want to paint representational images that are nearly abstract but still readily recognizable.  I figure the best way to achieve that is to paint using palette knives, or even better, "wedges".  What's a wedge?  It's what Princeton calls it's line of paint application tools that are basically a thin contoured wedge shape, some come with shaped edges for creating special textures.  On this painting I used the wedge they call "Contour C-83" for almost the whole painting.  I kept the background totally abstract and just applied blocks of various colors which is kind of what I did for the body of the tractor as well. 

When using alternative tools to paint with you often give up a degree of control, which is fine, it keeps you from getting too fussy.  I really like the effect and enjoy painting this way, as a bonus I don't have to rinse out and clean any brushes.