The Women of Harley-Davidson

In 1998 I launched the Women Of Harley-Davidson series. I was initially struck by the image on the cover of an Enthusiast magazine, a woman lighting a cigarette on a 1926 single. After so many years she has become quite famous and sought after as Ruby.

I decided every two years I would add another piece to this collection.

The next release was Betty in 2001. She was modeled after a commercial female pilot primping on her 1947 “Knucklehead” before a flight in her DC-3 Gooniebird.

Two years later I introduced Pearl. She’s a free spirited red head gracing the streets of small town England in front of her boyfriend’s motor service shop.

In 2003 I came out with Rose. She was an unusually independent creature for 1936. Declining the services of the eager attendant, she relegates him to the task of polishing her taillight.

Then Ruth was added to this group. I wanted to speak to the contribution of the WASP organization of the 1940s. They were a courageous band of angels flying almost anything the air force could throw at them. Ruth, an artistic interpretation of Ruth Helm, is situated in front of Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. She prepares for a celestial joy ride astride a 1940 knucklehead bobber (based on my own bike).

Next to follow was Evelyn, which quickly became a favorite.  On her way to the hill climb, this seasoned rider is pulled over by an admirer who has finally figured out how to get her attention.  Unfortunately for him, she is done with the whole thing and ready to move on!  This painting was composed of big, bold strokes with expressive paint and colors.

Stella is, for me, a reflection of perhaps the greatest generation gap in history.  The Victorian/Edwardian era parents must have been appalled at what their kids were up to.

Gloria celebrates the colorful past of Gloria Tramontin Struck, who started riding at the age of 16 and later joined the Motor Maids in 1946.  She has logged over 500,000 miles and was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2011.

Jessi was inspired by the WAVES of WWII, women who proudly served in the US Navy. With a WWII SJN T-6 Texan in the background, Jessi Combs (fastest woman on 4 wheels) was the model and Jim Wear (Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum) provided the 1945 US Navy Edition Harley-Davidson.

Brittney features Brittney Olsen, a vintage flat-track racing enthusiast.  I captured several photos of her at The Race of Gentlemen in Wildwood, NJ in 2015 and thought she’d make a great subject.

Bootlegger Betty and Ugly Eddie has a fascinating history surrounding bootlegging in 1933.  Click the image below for more details.

This collection has become highly sought-after. Since reducing future edition sizes to only 150 canvas prints with the release of “Rose” in 2004, these have generated a strong secondary market following.

Categories:  motorcycle art, harley-davidson art, women of harley, harley art, biker art

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