Powered by its small thrust micro rocket motor the “Jet Propelled Racing Car” really was (as written on the reverse side) the “Fastest Car for it’s size in the World!”.
The colour-work and typeface is screenprinted slightly offset creating simple overlaps and subtle hues of green. The strong full red colour allowed others to be pushed close to primary strength and less concern for tone, enhancing the illusion and 3-dimensional quality of the box.
Toy boxes are a reaccuring theme in my smaller work. They have value for a collector in mint condition and graphic appeal using image and text. Painting words onto a surface is a challenge and requires a steady hand yet brings detail and intimacy to the object.
As a child I was told by my father to open toys carefully and to keep the boxes in the best possible condition. Boxes were valuable, equal to the toy inside and keeping a toy in its original box, untouched, un-played with was the most valuable. This was also highly unlikely and I just wanted to play.
Jetex Box (15 x 20cm) oil on canvas
Available Frances Keevil Gallery
Known to fans as “The Great Race”, the Bathurst 1000 is Australia’s most prominent motor race of the year. Both Holden team drivers Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup have celebrated wins between them, no less than seven times.
The Holden and Ford supercars are the main attraction on race day but the track ladies and grid girls never fail to disappoint or provide a welcome distraction.
Pitgirls (25 x 60cm) oil on canvas
As a boy I picked up conkers from the woods and gardens around my home. The ‘conker’ is the seed of a horse chestnut tree and can be used to play a traditional game called “conkers”. Threaded onto a piece of string, opponents take turn to strike each other’s conker until one breaks. Victorious you gain the opponent’s tally, “a two-er”. Overall shape was important and my favorites were always “cheesers” or “cheesecuters” which have one or more flat sides and sharp edges to do some real damage.
To get your hands on the top quality conkers was not easy task and usually involved a covert mission on a misty morning and trespassing. Situated in the private grounds of artist Ralph Steadman’s home was a tree that produced the most wonderful conkers. Unfortunately it also meant a mad dash without cover across 50 meters of lawn. Missions were often thwarted by an encounter with Mrs. Steadman and her school bell.
The conker pod opens very easily to reveal a beautiful white casing with the appearance and cleanliness of fresh paint or sliced apple. The conker inside is polished to perfection like a brand new pair of brogue shoes, a rich dark red. This brilliance is fleeting, momentary and fades so quickly, lost either to the touch of grubby hands or air as it begins rotting casing to a brown colour.
Conkers (25 x 50cm) oil on panel –SOLD PRIVATE COLLECTION–
An endearing automata tin boat made by the German company Schuco. This brand new toy has a charming old fashioned appearance expertly manufactured in China for adult collectors rather than children.
I found pleasure in describing the miniature parts in detail along with the crisp design and a hint of flair in the Captains mustache.
Dragon Fly (12x 18cm) oil on canvas
For some time now my paintings have focused on why people make collections, use or handle objects. Uncovering the values behind a collection, seeing how an object sits and relates to others nearby or interacts with the whole world around it.
I remember holding these curio objects before rearranging them onto shelves, running the pieces through my fingers and feeling the metal, glass and porcelain surfaces. Some invited touch and were made for the purpose, whilst others were meant only to be observed from a distance.
These curio’s were discovered in thrift stores at bargain prices and this is a vital aspect of the objects history and story telling for the new owner. Each piece has its own special story to tell and begs the observer to ask ‘Where did that one come from?’, or ‘Did someone give it to you?’
Thrift Store Collector Left and Right Panels (30 x 40cm) oil on panel
Private Collection, UK.
Lots of laughs setting up this still life which I think clearly comes across. It’s all a bit tongue and cheek helped by the oversize car and petrol pump highlighting the drama playing out between the characters. We’ve already made our minds up but you too can decide who’s asking who?
I was pleased to achieve such a simplified composition, which has been an aim for sometime. Using only minor transitions in tone, colour and shape, with clean edges and detail kept to a minimum. Less fuss.
Have You Seen My Girlfriend? (25 x 60cm) oil on board
The Zig Zag Railway in the Blue Mountains finally came to the end of the line, closing indefinitely last year due to a lack of skilled workers and funds. Enthusiasts from around the world gathered to board and ride the train one last time, “dismayed at the thought of the Zig Zag closing”, yet ready to enjoy the experience of passing through the stunning scenery by steam one last time.
It was the hi-vis jackets that really helped me bring this piece to life. Illuminating the figures in the foreground against the subtle colours of the locomotive and rusting rolling stock. Old vs new technology and clearly time for a drink!
“All Aboard (60 x 25cm) oil on panel
With a British chassis and American engine and only 600 original Cobra’s ever built make this car a legend. Rumored to be a reason why UK motorways finally brought in speed restrictions, after clocking up 186mph on the M1 during a test run Le Mans. Soon after the British government imposed a 70mph restriction and denied any links to the Cobra incident.
The use of strong colour and brushwork to capture speed really made this box a fascinating subject to paint. The artist has created this momentum with real gestural movement by purposely dragging a dry brush through wet paint in one direction. A tough skill to practice and replicate.
A.C Cobra (30 x 25cm
Available Milk Factory
The key to winding this boat up is the original clockwork key. Made by UK toy manufacturer Penguin and the LInes family in the 1960’s it’s perfect for a fun bath time.
Green Boat ( 15 x 10cm) oil on canvas
A type C car that dominated the sport of motor racing in the 1930’s. Made by Germany’s Auto Unions it was nicknamed the Silver Arrow thanks to its sleek design and prowess of the racing track. This scale replica made in the 1960’s shows the qualities that made it the most advanced car of its era.
Race Car ( Silver Arrow) oil on canvas
Sold Private Collection