Daytona Commemorative

The commemorative series started in 2003 with the Witness. A unique work created to commemorate the Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration in Milwaukee. It’s title reflects a man who has been privy to much of the Motor Company’s history as well as the party celebrating it.

For this piece of art, we tried a new approach for its release. Prints were offered at a lower price point than usual for the duration of the celebration only. Terminating the edition at the end of the event, ensures collectability, and protects the buyer’s investment. It’s subject also commemorates the specific event, and will never be reproduced again.

For Daytona 2005 I created “Censored 1933”, an archival relic I unearthed with extreme delight. This gem was originally an outtake from an advertising photo shoot on the shores of Lake Michigan. The beauty of this photo was found in the candid demeanor of the models. Their unposed attitude made it unsuitable for advertising, yet perfect for my painting.

Daytona 2006 was met with “Rumblefish”. A familiar character dodging the local restrictions on the Halifax River.

Daytona 2007 brought “Buried Treasure”, a whimsical look at a Good Samaritan on the Florida beach in 1926.

In 2008, I introduced “Babe”, my portrayal of Babe Tancrede who won the Daytona 200 in 1940.  These racers are the reason we all flock to Daytona each spring for Bike Week and I wanted to give them their due.

With “Daytona Ink” the following year, my lovely (and favorite!) model Elizabeth is shown in a famous setting in Daytona.

2010 brought “Rebel Yell”.  I wanted to illustrate the spirit of the rally from the perspective of being young at heart and throwing caution to the wind.  Back in the late 1040s, the average motorcycle enthusiast was a veteran returned from the war who was consistently drawn to the rallies for the flat out excitement and balls to the wall insanity of racing down a beach.  Of course, everyone in the area would be affected by the sounds and energy, especially young boys screaming their own echoes of the climate of exhilaration.

With 2011 being an anniversary year for Daytona, I wanted to paint a subject that was very rally specific. Looking over the last six years of my Daytona Commemorative pieces, I realized that there was not a “Bike Week ” depiction in the whole group. So I thought it appropriate this year to create a”Ready to Rally”,  which represented a sight that would most certainly grab your attention while you were cruisin’ the streets.

For 2012, I remembered seeing a great black and white photo and saw that it was one of the more popular images on the Internet.  I had been toying with the idea of turning it into a piece about early 1912-ish Daytona, and finally decided the idea had come to fruition.  So I give you “Above the Law”, in tribute to those special girls who refuse to obey the rules.

“Wing and a Prayer” in 2013 offers my take on the amazing barnstormers who wowed the crowds on Florida’s beaches in the ’20’s. I viewed many great archival photos and was intrigued by these brave souls.  The image features Dale Walksler (on the ladder) – a great friend of David Uhl and curator of The Wheels Through Time Museum.

2014 brought two Daytona commemorative pieces. “Lucky Dog” was composed from a photograph I secured the rights to from a German archive. Hence the 1922 European looking girls. I considered it quite a wonderful find, so I painted it in a fashion to respect the quality of its time period. I tried putting more modern model type of women in but it looked wrong. I also wanted to paint it in a vintage palette to keep its roots firmly in antiquity.

“Spring Break” was rendered in oil from a Michael Lichter photograph. My idea here was to make an inviting window into to Florida’s delightful native colors. I also intended to make its style as realistic as possible to match my other rendered piece “Autumn Knuckle”.

In 2015, I painted “Daytona Duel” in the spirit of expressive paint, accentuating the wind and movement. Oil paint is the optimal medium for painting figures or motion because it allows you the capacity to alter edges and keeps figures from being stiff cardboard cut-outs. It also provides depth and dimension unmatched with other media.

2016 brought the 75th Anniversary of Daytona Bike Week. I composed two pieces to commemorate this event. “Love Triangle” is one of my favorites. In 2015, I attended the Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, NJ and photographed several beautiful bikes and cars. The bike in this piece, owned by Mike Silvio, has a wonderful patina.

“75th and Main” is a very impressionistic piece, showing a scene many visitors to Bike Week have seen over the years.

In 2017, I changed things up a bit.  The previous Daytona pieces depict a scene at the event.  “Still Kickin’” shows the beginning of the journey.

For 2018, I painted “Daytona Dippin’”, a celebration of one’s arrival in Daytona and its (usually) warmer weather.

In 2019, I offered three different pieces, Third Wash of the Day, Roots in the Sand and Prospect in Blue.

The Spirit of Daytona and The Loop were offered in 2020.  The Spirit of Daytona features vintage flat track racer Brittney Olsen.  “The Loop” depicts the coastal central Florida route familiar to many Daytona-area visitors.

For Bike Week’s 80th anniversary in 2021, I was pleased to offer “Southern Comfort” and “Victory Kiss”.

Collectors who might not be able to attend one of the events can reserve their prints simply by responding to the announcement email we now send a few weeks prior to each event. Obviously, it makes sense to be on our email list! During Bike Week, you’ll typically find me in the gallery at Destination Daytona Harley-Davidson in Ormond Beach.  The announcement email tells everyone where we’ll be each year.

Categories:  motorcycle art, harley-davidson art, daytona bike week art

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