Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rain rain go away!

Last year, what we in the UK laughingly refer to as the 'Summer' didn't actually arrive at all!
We seemed to go straight from the bluster of March to the wet, gloomy and prolonged winter.
"Well there's always next year" I told myself, but ... oh! dear... it's happened again!

This years summer has been yet another wet and dismal one for most of Britain which for me means no classic car shows attended, and no new 'adventures' when out tin-hunting!

Well, someone once told me that if life deals you Lemons - then make lemonade! So I post below my latest painting that sums up the sad lot of many a British classic fan for both this year and last.
The old XK Jaguar has been buffed and polished by it's proud owner ready for the show, fingers crossed the weather will hold out, but suddenly the tell-tale first spot of rain arrives. With no time to cover the car before the oncoming delude hits an umbrella is quickly pressed into service to save the interior!

We can only hope for better next year!

It seems there are plenty of folk that like to paint old cars, several of them also see (as I do) the beauty of derelict and abandoned vehicles as subject matter. My first post on this blog contained a painting of an old truck with flowers, I notice now that I failed to attribute it to the artist responsible so I did a search of the net and found the artist Brenda Swenson's site (for it was she)

I also found another Artist website that had some wonderful watercolour paintings on the subject!

When is beauty actually faded?

Have you ever heard the term 'faded beauty' used in relation to a once beautiful woman that has now attained a certain age.
While I understand the sentiment, I like to think that beauty just changes form, so rather than 'fade' it simply becomes beautiful in another way.

While searching the net for examples of this I came across the one below. I haven't been able to identify the make or model of the vehicle but suspect it is something from the 1930's or early 40's America.

Take a look at that long sweeping hood, or 'bonnet' as it's referred to in the UK, this would have been a fantastically graceful machine at one time! As it sits, no doubt neglected for decades, it still to my eyes retains a certain dignity...a faded beauty indeed.

The picture below comes from Europe, there is a place called Gurbetal in Switzerland that is the home of some mouth watering old classics! Originally an 'Autofriedhof' (Car Cemetery) this site now appears to be some sort of historical automotive museum. The cars it contains are anything from the once commonplace to the extremely rare, and although part of me loves the way that these old vehicles are rusting and decaying, a greater part of me would wish to see them saved!

You can see a range of photo's from Gurbetal here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

900 Car auction sale!

Some of the best and most restorable old cars come from the dry states of the U.S.
Cars from California, Arizona or Texas usually have very little wrong with them structurally despite several decades of neglect.
I recently heard of an Auction sale in which 900 such vehicles were to be sold off to the highest bidder! News of this auction triggered in me the 'If only I had the time/room/money to buy a whole bunch of them' type thoughts, and having looked at some of the available lots for sale I think that I would have needed quite a few acres of space to accommodate all that I would have liked to own!

Those old 'jellymould jalopies' were in evidence everywhere! Below are a few examples of what was there. Some of them, like this Chevy woodie were complete and I could imagine jumping in and just driving her away!

Less complete but to me no less beautiful, this next bunch cry out for restoration!

....and below, one of my all time favourites, a pre '53 Buick! This one looks to be a '49 Roadmaster two door - a Superb example of Art in the form of an Automobile!

Jellymould Jallopies!

I have discovered that I may be a little odd.
Ever since childhood I have had a fascination with the Automobile, in the old days I loved their curves, the way they sounded and looked, even the smell they gave off inside led me to remember them fondly to this day.

My favourite era for old cars was those produced between around 1940 - 1956 or what I call the 'jellymould' era of styling!
Unless beautifully restored or at least carefully preserved, these cars are now most likely to be seen abandoned or neglected, hidden under some undergrowth in remote country areas. There they sit forlornly, their once sparkling chrome tarnished, their paint faded and worn by years of exposure to the elements.

The reason that I say that I may be a little odd is that I find them still strangely beautiful, their rusted panels become canvases of diverse colours, their faded paint worn through in places by the sun and rain to create patterns unique to each.
As an Artist I can't ignore this - it excites me to see such faded beauty, so I decided to dedicate this blog to those vehicles from days long gone by, those vehicles that once swept proudly along our highways and still today manage to look beautiful in decay!