Thursday, November 26, 2009


It's not often that a car appears on this blog that doesn't have any rust on it, but today's post in an exception. When I first saw this photo I couldn't stop looking and the shape, curves, and best of all the glossy finish of this old Jaguar. Not only a Classic, but also a classy car!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I came across this painting while browsing the net recently. I have no idea who painted it, but it made me smile as it proves there's others out there that find our rusty old cars and trucks beautiful enough to paint!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Peregrine Heathcote

As regular readers will know, every now and again I come across an artist who's work I mention here. Such an artist is found in the unlikely name of Peregrine Heathcote.

Now don't get me wrong I like the images, after all they feature old cars, classic aviation, and ocean liners reminiscent of the deco style, the trouble is they are also reminiscent of another artist!

Sadly I find Heathcote's paintings contrived, the oh so vacant look of the female model conjures up an impression of gormless beauty rather than the wistfulness that I'm sure the artist intended.

Having said that I do like the images, but I guess that's down to the subject matter as opposed to the originality, or artistic merit of the work. there's a certain Deja Voux about them all, as I'm sure a certain Jack Vettriano might agree!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

How about this for a seasonal image of beautiful decay. The Autumnal colours echo those outside in my garden at the moment, although I'm not lucky enough to find 1950's American cars amongst my leaves!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An old sketch.

Regular readers will know that from time to time I mention my favourite colour combination of blue and orange, or rather blue and rust.
Many times I have found this combination to create some striking images found in nature, and for me never more so than when seen on an old car. For those of you that have visited my other blog this vehicle might need no introduction, it is a variant of the Citroen 2cv, the restoration of which that blog was set up to chronicle.

Old Citroen 2cv's rust - spectacularly! Yet for all that they seem to settle into a patina of rust and wear that appears perfectly acceptable. Why I don't know, but the rust just seems to add character.
I painted the sketch above a few years ago, it is a painting of a vehicle that was actually still in regular use, and I just couldn't resist recording the details!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Corroded mainline 57

corroded mainline 57
Originally uploaded by movitz
Once again a 'pretty as a picture' scene of dereliction!
I love the way the sweeping chrome strip on this Ford has stayed a sharp as the day it was made, while all around it crumbles.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The fall of light.

I may have posted the image above before, I don't remember, but the reason I post it now is to describe how powerful a thing light and shade can be.
Imagine the old car that this 'nose' belongs to. It has been sitting outside for many years, uncared for, perhaps forgotten, and yet what striking beauty it has if only one takes the time to see it! The strength of the sunlight makes the shadows deep and the highlights sparkle, where sometimes it is the patterns of rust on the actual metal that can attract, here the beauty of the curved form is complemented by the fall of light.

The car above displays elements of all the things that attract me to old cars as art. The stylish original design incorporating those fantastically 'over the top' rear light units blends into the wraparound chrome. The original colour is changed, mottled into interesting shapes by the fall of light, the blue sky turned light purple by the old chrome.

Here again, this old Caddy could easily have been just a mouldy piece of junk in the woods, but look how that sunlight brings it to life! On a dull day you could walk right by this scene without hardly a glance, but with the correct lighting conditions - Boom!

Even without colour, the light, and the way that it falls can make an impact. The old truck above is so weather worn there isn't even any paint on it, just the dull red/brown of the rusty metal.
Set simply against a blue sky this could have easily been a real boring picture...until the light play came in to create a dramatic scene!

I love the play of light on an object, the way it hides some things yet reveals others, adds so much interest to a subject. And when that subject is a rusty old car that already has beautiful curves and lines, and a fine patina of age then it's a winning combination.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Well folks I'm back!

I can't believe it's been over three months since I last posted on here...where does the time go?
For those of you that have followed this blog for a while now please accept my apologies for the lack of recent postings, the explanation for which is the time I have devoted to restoring my own old rusty heap!
I have opened another blog in order to continue documenting that process, so in addition to posting those finds of interesting yet rusty cars on here, I'll be updating the resto blog sure to take a look!

I'll end today with these two images that have something of an 'On Safari' feel about them. The vehicle below looks almost camouflaged sitting low as it does in the undergrowth, it's striped roof enabling it to blend into its surroundings!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rusty and crusty.

A single image today that I must have stared at for what seemed like an age!

This photo has everything from the variations in tone and texture, the interesting shapes, to the worn patina of the paint and metal - beautiful :-) The best in rust-art!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Not too many posts of late I know as I'm busy with my Citroen 2cv project car, some photo's of progress soon. meanwhile, I couldn't resist posting this fantastic photograph of a couple of owners and their new Oldsmobile car!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Rust-art at it's best with this fish eye lens view of a Fairlane wing - wow!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The seductive colours of rust!

I know that some of the following images have been enhanced in Photoshop to bring out the colour strength, but just look at the pure light and deep colour in the photo above...fantastic!

The backlight in this shot did it for me, that and the noble Indian head.

This old guy looks like he caught a cold with that big old red nose!

Stylish lines in abstact rust!

In my imagination I can see this car swooping by, factory fresh and glittering in the twilight of a warm summer evening. Those red tail lights would be all lit up, looking like the after burners of a jet plane.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

VW Bus.

I just had to post these two great shots of the old VW bus! The first is a moody atmospheric pic' that puts me in mind of the movie 'Christine', I can just imagine the thing starting up on its own!

This lower one would make an excellent painting! Those folds in the cloth catch the light beautifully.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The British Government.

British readers may well get a chuckle from this short video.
For or non UK readers I have to explain that our country has been overtaken by events this week whereupon revelations from a document leaked to the newspapers has exposed the huge scale corruption of our entire political class. Put frankly, MP's have been committing fraud on an unimaginable scale to fill their own bank accounts from public funds!

In true British style, however serious we make a joke about it, but really we're angry.... but you wouldn't like us when we're angry!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Van Gogh?

There has been some speculation in the news just recently that Vincent Van Gogh didn't actually cut off his own ear, that was done by his friend Paul Gauguin using a sword!
When I saw the rusty panel above I was immediately reminded of a Van Gogh painting. The cornfield, blue sky, and 'cyprus tree' are all motifs that he used

Vincents thickly encrusted canvases not only resemble naturally occuring rust art visually, but also texturally. I wonder if we'll ever see rusty panels hung in auction houses and selling for millions!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Beauty contest!

Above we have Miss France 1948 - 1989 and below Miss Germany 1936 - 2007, both these gal's have won over millions of hearts.

Next up a typically 'English rose', but quite a fast lady and quite often topless!

Speaking of England, and thus British weather here's something that few people know. Old British bikers never die, they just rust solid!

There's nothing can touch an old battered Citroen 2cv for pure class! Lol.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Not so beautiful decay!

Those regular visitors to this blog will know that I have a degree of affection for the little French Citroen 2cv. I have owned several, and have one to this day.
The painting above is from a series of 'rusty wrecks' that I have painted from time to time, and for those who aren't familiar with the Citroen 2cv I might add that the rusty state that you see above is quite normal....these things rust!

Here's a shot of my 1986 model which, despite looking reasonably sound is absolutely shot! The bodywork of these cars is made of very thin metal which earned them the nickname of the 'tin frog' or 'tin snail', it's so thin that it can rust out very quickly.
Luckily mine has been fitted with an aftermarket replacement galvanised chassis, the original item on these cars never seeming to last more than three or four years from new!

These small Citroens have one advantage, and that is they can be completely dismantled down to component parts, and most of those parts are still available. If you take a closer look at the one above you will see that it has a white bonnet or hood, a green drivers door, and a blue body! This is because over the years bits have been taken from other cars to replace the rotted out stuff, the car has ended up looking like a patchwork vehicle :-)

She looks to have an expression of trepidation as she stands outside the garage here, maybe she 'knows' what I have in store for her? lol. Basically, as the chassis is galvanised and sound, and the engine is good without work i have decided to strip her down and replace the rotten parts (of which there are a lot)

A couple of hours later this was the scene. The body tub has been released from the chassis and I am preparing to lift it off and place it in the yard behind. The large fan of the air-cooled motor can now be seen.
I have no room for lifting gear, but the thin steel enables me to lift the body off the chassis physically by using the top strip of metal along the roof as a yoke across my shoulders! See how the weight of the car has bent the steel over my shoulder?...Don't try this at home kiddies! :-)

One more heave and a couple of swear words later and the old shell is off the tin-snail. the seperate running gear can be seen inside the garage, and on this occasion I don't find the decay beautiful. I'll post an update from time to time to show the how I progress (if at all) so it's back indoors now for a hot bath and a nice glass of wine.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Beyond the obvious.

As an artist, and lover of old things in general, (but of old cars in particular) I find it interesting to note how the two passions combine.
Aesthetics aren't just the province of the artist, but also of the designers of yesteryear who created those beautiful curves and sweeping lines that describe the cars of the age. Above I return to a theme I've mentioned before - the combination of blue and orange, when combined with graceful curves is a sure fire winner as beautiful decay.

Another dimension used in art since the beginning of man's understanding was allegory. In the 17th century the Dutch painters relied heavily on allegorical scenes to instruct and inform the viewer. Paintings often represented themes other than the obvious, such as a lone woman playing a violin, which would represent hearing - one of the five senses, and so on.

There were also works called 'Vanitas' paintings, usually showing a book, a candle, and a skull on a tabletop of some kind. These were to remind us that all human life is transient, and we, just like the candle have limited time.

When I came across the photograph of the old Jaguar shown above I was struck by the symbolism of the scene. The photo has been photoshopped a little to adjust the colours but it was the title that made me stop and contemplate the scene a little longer.

The photo was entitled "The end of prosperity", which seemed pretty apt for these straightened times. I began to 'read' it as I would a Dutch allegorical painting, and the more I did the more I discovered.
The Jaguar in the foreground, always an expensive/exclusive brand represents those privileged folk for whom such things are made, the boat in the background as yet another symbol of wealth. In this composition it's as if these things have been cast away, they remain as rotting monuments to society's folly. The tyre in front of the car is worn out, again a symbol of a finite lifespan, while tucked away in the background, very subtly, is the scrapyard...which must surely represent both the car and our final destination, the grave!
Death, 'the great leveller' as they say. My conclusion is that far from being just another photo of an old car, this picture is a superb modern day Vanitas painting!

Now I go from reading something into the picture to just thinking what it reminds me of. The 1950 Buick again, but who can look at this scene without recalling seeing the fossilised bones of a T-Rex or other dinosaur as a kid? I still remember how impressed I was as a child when taken to the local museum to see a dinosaur skeleton, while looking at those teeth simultaneously I thanked heaven they didn't exist anymore!
Not so with the Buick, the teeth may remind me of that fossilised dino' but i sure wish these old Buicks still existed!

This final picture made me smile, if only in a mischievous way! I liked the composition and the colour, I liked the blue-ish chrome and the abstract shapes it makes against the orangey red of the metal. When looked at as an example of 'beautiful decay' it works quite well, and here's what made me smile... I never thought i'd say an Edsel could be beautiful! :-)