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! :-)