In 2002 the Motor Company commissioned me to do a special 100th Anniversary painting. They had assembled a group of photographs picked from the archives, and presented them to me to decide which one best represented this subject. I chose the image of a company spokesman describing the features of their first entry into the racing circuit; circa Chicago 1914. This became known as The Model Champion.
While The Model Champion was historical and interesting, I informed the Motor Company that I was also wanted to represent the female rider for the last 100 years. They agreed. Excited to undertake this challenge, I immediately put pencil to paper and hit my references. The Enthusiast painting depicts an attractive woman kicked back on her ‘49 WLA engrossed in the 50th anniversary copy of the Enthusiast magazine. The original painting, large in stature at 60”x 48”, has since become the most popular piece of motorcycle art to date.
The publisher I was working with at the time developed their own version of the commemorative series: The Century Collection. Eager to revisit the theme, I chose an image of a winter scene in 1912 depicting a horse drawn truck being loaded with a new bike. The building in the background is the original Juneau Street factory in Milwaukee. Thus the name: Milwaukee Morning.
The second in this series drew me back to the female rider again. This time I wanted to mirror past and present. My foreground subject, striding a 100th Anniversary Deuce, communes with her matriarch from the ‘20s, Ruby. The foreground, bathed in cool technological blues, contrasts with Ruby’s domain of warm, gold hues reflecting a window into antiquity. The piece was an instant success, especially among the Ruby fans.
Also included in this collection is The Witness. Viewing this work is sure to bring a smile to the faces of enthusiasts young and old. A veteran rider catches up on the local news during his stay in Milwaukee for the 100th Celebration.
“Origins” and “Chance Encounter” were created for The Motor Company’s 110th anniversary in 2013. I had the pleasure of presenting the first proof of Chance Encounter to Pope Francis.
For Harley’s 115th anniversary, I was asked to do a special piece for The Motor Company’s European celebration in Prague. “Eternity” features Karen Davidson amidst a local backdrop there. Prague is a very interesting city that lends itself well to the “Steampunk” feel of this piece.
“The Watercolorist” features Willie G. Davidson, an accomplished painter in his own right. It was indeed an honor to paint him.
Categories: motorcycle art, harley-davidson art, harley art, 100th anniversary art