A Commission with a Personal Twist (and Fins)

As a teenager
, I did countless illustrations of classic cars. Sharpies, cheap markers, and colorful gel pens were my media of choice, and even my school notebooks and assignment books were not safe from finned cars and retro hot rod detailing. While my environmentalist tendencies leave me with concerns over how the American love of the automobile is shaping our landscapes and health, my fascination for outlandishly stylish and shiny classic cars, chrome, hot rods, and high-performance engines has never quite disappeared. This having been said, when my cousin in Upstate New York mentioned that he still had my Cubism-inspired marker drawing of his '55 Chevy on his wall and wanted another slightly abstract work depicting a '59 Cadillac and some of his favorite guitars (which I ended up working into the background shapes), I was quite enthusiastic. Of course, I have not drawn with markers for years, so I chose acrylics instead. . . and even though I used to draw finned cars all the time, I have never actually painted one before now.

My main goals for the painting were that it include my cousin's love of great cars and music, that it make reference to the style of the wildly-colored marker drawings I made as a teen, and that the car look solid and fairly well-delineated. . . after all, no matter how much I enjoy experimenting with transparent overlays of paint, a '59 Cadillac is a very concrete thing. After a few more days of curing and a quick trip through the mail, I am fairly sure that The Sound of Fins [above] will look rather interesting on my cousin's wall, near the "Cubist '55" I drew years ago. . .

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