May/Jun 2021 edition
Issue #16 AutoMobilia Resource Magazine
A special exhibition at The Bascom Museum in Highlands, North Carolina, will celebrate automotive art from May 11 to Aug 21, 2021. The show, “FreeWheeling – The Allure of the Automobile in Contemporary Art,” will feature the artwork of thirteen renowned international automotive artists working in a variety of mediums, including canvas, paper and sculpture.
This special exhibition has been put together by The Bascom and the Highlands Motoring Festival, which on June 12th, 2021, will feature a display of hundreds of great classic cars as well as “Cars in the Park.” The Bascom will also have a rotating display of extremely rare and special automobiles in their gallery “as art,” plus related activities and displays, including artist/curator discussions, automobile photography presentations, model car displays and more. Of particular interest will be numerous talks on automotive art–related topics, such as “Women in Automotive Art.” Please contact Knight Martorell at The Bascom for detailed information on these talks: email@example.com or 828-526-4949.
The featured artists at The Bascom’s “FreeWheeling – The Allure of the Automobile in Contemporary Art” (“FreeWheeling” for short) include
Bobbie Crews, from Knoxville, Tennessee, works in oil paint and prints to metal. Bobbie has been working as an automotive artist since 2009. She has always loved the design and sensual lines of classic automobiles. She’s really inspired by the way light hits a vehicle, changing the colors and distorting the images reflected in the metal, glass and chrome. Bobbie likes to hone in on the headlights, building depth and bringing the painting to life, creating intimate portraits.
Her most memorable piece was a 7'x2.5' canvas featuring four classics: a 1930 Cadillac, a 1931 Chrysler, a 1932 Duesenberg and a 1933 Packard. She painted the sky for the background and rolled up the corners of the checkered floor the cars sat on into a “magic carpet” floating in the clouds, giving the painting a touch of whimsy. The cars really stood out, and her client loved it.
She has three pieces in the exhibit. Two are 36"x36" oil on canvas. “Orange Is the New Black,” a 1928 Auburn Speedster, from her own collection, is offered at $4,000, and “Silver Streak Sunspots,” a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak, from the collection of Jeff and Kathy Rapkin. The third, “Bentley Racer #9,” a 1928 Blower Bentley raced by Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin in the 1930 24 Hours of Le Mans, 24"x24," printed on metal. Several 36"x36" identical metal prints are hanging in Bentley dealerships nationwide.
Bobbie creates custom artwork for clients and has the ability not only to paint cars, but also specific people to be in your custom portrait if desired. She sells prints on paper, canvas and metal as well as original paintings. Paper Giclées start at $60; Giclées on canvas start at $200; and prints on metal start at $180. Original custom paintings start at $4,000.
865-591-0831 • Tennessee
Brian Tull, from Nashville, Tennessee, works in oils and acrylic paint on panel. Brian has been working as an automotive and figurative artist since 2007 and is inspired by life and nostalgia.
His most memorable piece was “No Better Place,” so named because of the many interesting features which he says were a fun challenge: shiny paint, chrome, and car lights. He used a diluted paint technique, literally dripping water onto the painting, then manipulating it a bit further to simulate water spots on the chrome bumper.
At FreeWheeling he will be exhibiting “Around the Fourth,” an oil-and-acrylic work on panel, 48"x44", and “1635 miles,” oil and acrylic on panel, 48"x48".
Brian’s special commissions range from $24,000 to $35,000. He says, “My paintings are all oil and acrylic, with a few good paintbrushes and a whole lot of faith.”
619-945-5807 • Tennessee
Klaus Wagger, from Austria, works in acrylics on canvas. He has been drawing and painting most of his life, exhibiting and selling for over 20 years. Once he starts a painting, he sticks to it right through to the end, in order not to lose the plot building in his mind.
“Boiling Over” is his first piece on exhibit, showing the Monaco Grand Prix in 1933, portraying the epic duel between Achille Varzi driving for Bugatti and Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa, a contest that lasted for 99 of the 100 laps until the Alfa’s engine overheated and seized. 55"x39". Valued at $9,000 to $10,000.
Klaus exhibits at several events a year, including Retromobile in Paris and TechnoClassica in Essen. He used to exhibit at several more until Brexit and Covid. He hopes to ramp up his schedule again soon.
Prices range from $1,800 for a 27"x20" original up to $12,000 for commissions.
+43 699 1195 5277 • Austria
Sue Steele Thomas from Roanoke, Virginia, works in gouache (opaque watercolors). She has been creating automotive art for 35 years.
Sue likes to capture the essence and beauty of well-designed machines and explore their conceptual interaction with nature. After each painting is finished, she spends a minimum of ten hours critiquing each line and shape.
Red Alfa Among the Shasta Daisies” won first place in 2020 in the Water + Color exhibit at the Pence Gallery in Davis, California. It will be shown in the FreeWheeling exhibit. Size: 18"x28". More than 250 hours went into creating this beautiful artwork, which is valued at approximately $9,000. Prices range from $100 for 13"x16" prints up to $10,000 for original paintings.
540-588-6667 • Virginia
Ken Scaglia from Weston, Connecticut, has been an automotive artist since 2006, working in acrylic on canvas. He’s been fascinated by engines and classic cars since childhood. Ken delights in the mix of materials older cars offer, and their respective assemblies as a result of being handcrafted mechanical sculptures.
One of Ken’s most memorable pieces is “Arrangement in Grey and Black: Barrels,” which is a closeup view of a Cobra engine showing its gleaming carburetors.
He will be showing “Rocket Man,” acrylic on canvas in the exhibit. This piece took over 20 hours to complete; it measures 30"x30" and is worth approximately $5,000. Ken’s work ranges in price from $400 for a 9"x12" up to $8,000 for a 48"x48" piece.
203-984-6598 • Connecticut
John E. Schaeffer from La Grange, Texas, works in acrylic on canvas. His art is classical in nature. He paints an underpainting with a limited palette of color and then layers on a series of washes to create color and depth. There is no limit to the number of washes, as he lets the painting tell him what it needs. He works on only one piece at a time.
John’s been working as an automotive artist for eight years. He took a 35-year hiatus from painting when he stopped teaching over 40 years ago, due to a busy career in retail. But in 2011 he was overwhelmed with the desire to paint again, and the passion returned.
To John, vehicles are more than transportation. Their skin has a magical ability to transform a figure or cityscape into an abstract painting. He paints the surreal landscape created in their reflections by using close observation to look past the obvious. His goal is to inspire people to look with their imagination and discover the beauty of chrome and paint – the truly magical experience of the past reflecting the present in the “skin” of their bodies.
“Candy Apple Tuxedo” is his favorite piece of work. Its triple reflection is very different. This piece is part of the “Luster, Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting” show, a traveling museum exhibit created by David J. Wagner.
John has four pieces featured in the exhibition, including “Still Wired,” an unexpected view showing the elegance of the spider-web matrix of a Jaguar wire wheel in a warm complementary scheme.
This beautiful art is FreeWheeling’s poster image featured on their website introduction page; 24"x18," price $2,000.
“Smile” has a striking reflective play of the foreground on the slats of a 1946 Chevy pickup grille. It doesn’t matter whether someone knows anything about cars; it’s simply a fun piece to view. It measures 20"x38"; price $3,500.
“Awesome” is an exaggerated narrow landscape format that vertically crops a Ford GT40, known for its outrageously low height, in a composition that captures its aggressive stance. Measuring 12"x36"; price $2,000.
“Black Cat” is a different breed of cat. This barn find XK150 is meant to alter the perspective of the viewer by showing only its basic instincts in a black-and-white composition. Measuring 16"x20", it is priced at $1,200.
John’s original paintings range from $500 to $5,000, and prints are available upon request.
979-224-7686 • Texas
Allan Gorman from West Orange, New Jersey, works primarily in oil paint, and he also experiments with other mediums from time to time. He’s been working as an artist for many years but only produced his first automotive painting in 2013. His favorite painting is “Blue Buick,” depicting a 1941 Buick Super with deep blue paint, wonderful composition and vibrant color values.
“Blue Buick” is a 30"x30" framed and signed archival print which will be featured in the exhibit, along with three other pieces. “Blue Buick” took approximately three weeks to paint and the archival print is worth around $2,700. This print will be given away to one lucky winner. All you have to do is sign up for his e-mail list at https://www.allangormanart.com/bluebuick-giveaway. Allan’s original oil paintings start at $3,500 and his small prints start at less than $100.
973-477-3079 • New Jersey
. Allan’s original oil paintings start at $3,500 and his small prints start at less than $100.
973-477-3079 • New Jersey
Lory Lockwood, from New Orleans, Louisiana, works with acrylic paints on canvas. She has been an artist for 35 years, with over 25 of those spent painting automobiles and motorcycles.
Lory is inspired by the reflections and distortions seen in the paintwork and chrome parts. She is also fascinated by photorealism and its amazing detail. Lory strives for a 3-D look to her paintings, and gallery-wraps them to add affect, meaning the painting literally wraps around the sides. Shadowbox frames are used, which are painted black inside. She works in a very detailed style and doesn’t keep track of hours.
Her most memorable painting was a very large commission, “Dream Cruisin,” which measures 5'x10' and sold for $20,000. She will have two paintings in the exhibit: “Vette on Vette,” which is 30"x40", and “250 Testarossa,” which is 18"x36".
You can find Lory at museum events and car shows. She worked with galleries for a time but found she preferred to work directly with the owners at car-related events, as she found that to be much more fulfilling. Her print prices range from $50 for a 9.5"x13" up to $1,400 for a 30"x40" print. Original paintings range from $300 for a 6"x8" to $6,000 for a 30"x40", but sizes and prices can go bigger and higher depending on what a client wants.
504-430-6537 • Louisiana
Chuck Queener, from Newtown, Connecticut, works in watercolors and gouache. He’s been painting automobiles since 1961. Chuck will be showing a 250 GTO poster and a painting commissioned for Road & Track, “Ferrari 250 GTOs in Napa.”
Each painting takes anywhere from eight hours to three weeks to complete, and Chuck’s works can range in price from $3,000 to $20,000. His Giclée prints range in price according to size from $350 up. His posters range in price from $145 to $350.
203-322-1680 • Connecticut
Shannon “Shan” Fannin, from Austin, Texas, works in acrylics. She’s been a professional realist vehicle artist for six years. She began painting automobiles when her family purchased a 1961 Ford Thunderbird convertible and began attending car events. She loved all the stories she heard from the many vehicle owners she met at those shows – their first car, the car they took on family vacations, the car they rebuilt with a loved one, the ones they dreamed of owning. Vehicles are time machines, they’re machines that were a part of her family, and she identified with them on a personal level. Her goal is to bring these beautiful machines to life on canvas and share their stories.
“Sully’s Royal Enfield” was her most memorable painting, as she lost her studio buddy, a ten-year-old labradoodle named Sully, right before painting this piece. She cried throughout the making of it, while mourning the loss of her best friend.
“1925 Hispano Suiza H68” will be featured in the exhibit. Shan was given special permission to photograph this rare beauty, which participated in the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and was a real show stopper. The painting is 24"x30,"unframed acrylic on cotton canvas. Shan uses a combination of her fingers, palms and brushes in her art, creating a fun balance of abstraction and photorealism. Original paintings start from $2,200.
512-917-4660 • Texas
Daniel Brown from Troy, Ohio, works in oil on canvas. Daniel started playing with cars in the early 2000s when he was at Goshen College in Indiana and purchased a 1967 Firebird convertible, which was in such bad shape it had to be pushed into the garage with a front-end loader. The time spent rebuilding the car with his friend inspired him to be an artist.
Daniel will be exhibiting three paintings: “#39,” “Duesy” and “Packard Light.”
Richard Pietruska from Santa Monica, California, sculpts in fiberglass, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel and mixed media. Richard has been working as an automotive artist for over 30 years and teaches automotive design. He has a great appreciation for all the iconic designs of the past and present.
His “Veronique Series” included his most memorable works. They were elaborate, taking over a year to produce, with many parts, including LED lights and sound chips. They were well worth all the effort, as all three pieces won the Peter Helck Award at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, three years in a row.
Richard’s “Jaguar XK 120” will be featured in the exhibit. Made of fiberglass, it is painted red with a gradation to dark red. Approximately 30" long by 11" high, it has the stance of a jaguar cat and is mounted on an aluminum base. This piece took approximately three months to create and is worth approximately $18,000. Richard’s art ranges in price from $4,000 to $25,000 per sculpture.
310-980-6423 • California
FreeWheeling is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see, in one location, quality automotive art from 13 amazingly talented artists. Showing from May 11, to August 21, 2021 at The Bascom Museum in Highlands, North Carolina. This is definitely an exhibit you don’t want to miss. However, if you can’t get there, don’t fret, all of these artists have dedicated websites, as well as the obligatory social media accounts. They are more than worthy of your time, attention and financial support. Go to TheBascom.org, or call 828-526-4949 for further info.
To read more great columns like this one from Publisher Sharon Spurlin...
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