Sunday, July 25, 2010

MIstakes & Leftovers: Let's Make Some Art

Trailing Throttle Oversteer. Approximately 12 x 20 inches on pine. Paint, paper and polyurethane, 2009.

M Y   A R T — I created a piece of art last year for a friend, Barry. He owns a classic 1955 Porsche Continental cabriolet. He's always been a car fanatic, and sent me a scan of a faded photograph from 1969 of he and some friends of his working on Barry's Corvair 'speedster,' a cut-down convertible that never made it beyond the dream and torch-cutting stage. He also sent me a few scans of his Porsche's body and details. I created a montage of the two cars and images and created a cool abstract piece for him about 24 x 24 inches, Rear-Engined Reflections.

Whenever I do a piece, I always print out WAY too many prints, not knowing what I'm going to do for one reason, and wanting to have plenty so I can do anything I want, and then do it again. I try to work in stages, so I'll do all of my wood work first, finding and then cutting and sanding the bases I'll use, then the photoshop work, then I'll do all the printing, and then I'll get my paints, glazes and polyurethanes together. I don't like to have to do more printouts if I'm in the painting stage, or do some wood cutting if I'm in the printing stage. It's just the way I work best. It took a good 2 years for me to finish a piece for Barry that I liked and that I thought he would like. In fact I created two earlier separate pieces almost to the finishing stage before I gave up on them as they weren't 'right.' In the meantime I had literally hundreds of printouts too many by the time I finished the third and final piece.

Long story short, after I sent the piece to Barry, I decided to use the leftovers of his prints to do one for myself. I really liked the colors I had created for the photoshopped images, I liked the striping of the rear engine cover vents on his Porsche, and I liked the paint colors I had gotten for it. The piece of wood I had chosen looked just fine, but as soon as I started working on it, a crack appeared and then the wood split. Not being one to throw anything out, I started exploring ways to use it in the piece anyway. It was a clean cut, so I could have just joined it together, and made plans to paint the slim vertical piece and 'paper' the larger side of it. Then I put the pieces together in the opposite manner, so the curved 'slit' wouldn't join to create a rectangle, but to create a subtle 'S' shape. Then I realized how perfect this would be for a piece using parts of an image of a Porsche!

As Annie mentioned in her comments about her accident with her 912, early Porsches are known for their 'scary' handling traits, ie, that heavy engine stuck out at the back of the car always wants to find a way to come to the front of the car, in a pendulum type manner. Frequently the driver then hits the brakes and overcorrects the steering, resulting in what's known as 'trailing throttle oversteer' or better known as a major friggin' skid! The two pieces of wood looked like a section of a skid, the black rubber you'll find on roads after an accident perhaps, or the twin stripes left on a road after a smoking getaway. 

So the mistake of cracking the pine board, and the leftover printouts I had from the original piece combined in this second piece to create a cool piece of art that I'm quite proud to hang on my walls, the better to remember the original and my friend Barry.

Rear-Engined Reflections. The original piece I did for Barry, approximately 24 x 24 inches on plywood. Barry (the TALL one) and his friends standing by his cut-down Corvair speedster, ca 1969, are superimposed on the trunklid of his 1955 Porsche Continental cabriolet. The rest is pure artandcolour, with a myriad of squares, grids and colors in paint, paper, graphite and polyurethane.


  1. To put it in a fifties vocabulary: COOL!

  2. I date myself every day then, lol. Cool is one of my favorite expressions!