The series of paintings I am currently working on are portraits of time-worn rusted vehicles—trucks, farm equipment and cars—rendered anthropomorphically.
I challenge myself to portray these subjects exactly as they now appear. The rust, dents, broken glass and peeling paint are all tributes to the once mighty vehicles. I paint effects of time that has weathered and corroded these discarded machines. These vehicles contributed to America’s growth and development in rural as well as urban areas. They helped build roads, farm fields, and carry supplies that helped make our Country great. I hope to immortalize them for future generations that may never have the opportunity to hear and see them run. Also, in painting these subjects it is rewarding to me when I meet people that have actually operated these machines.
Yet I realize not all viewers can relate as I do to these subjects. Symbolically, these machines take on a human-like quality: the bumper may be distorted into a crooked smile; the grill a bent out-of-shape nose; the headlights, sometimes broken, resemble eyes. Each one, like us, is allotted a limited time to perform a mission, and hopefully grow old with grace and dignity. I try to give the vehicles I portray the dignity they deserve for service well done. I sometimes choose to portray a vehicle in full detail in a landscape setting. Other times I will select an area and paint it in abstract form.
My goal is for the viewer to see the beauty and power these subjects once had. Just as a writer needs to tell a story, and a chef needs to please a pallet, I, as a painter, through my brushes, I use paint and color to evoke an emotion.