Riding with George on the Long Road was something I'll never forget. I get to see George maybe twice a year if that, but I talk to him every other week on the phone about work stuff, so getting the chance to actually see him face to face and log some miles along the notorious "Leaky Latowski" has been something of a goal of mine for many moons now.
There is something about crossing the map with someone else who's done it a million times too that you both just click into a rhythm... Pass this semi, don't pass that one, hammer on the throttle here, slow down there, cops up ahead, straight away for hours, lets see if we can get up to 120 mph, rinse and repeat... Even though this was the first time i've been next to the Latowski in action, it felt familiar as ever, and despite his track record for crashing into Peterbilt's and busses, George is actually quite the skilled rider!
It's been ages since i've done a Freewheelin' Friday, and even longer since i've made a fresh piece exclusively for Freewheelin' Friday, but thats all because I haven't been in one place long enough to scratch my ass, let alone focus on a new project. However, the dust has settled, "regular" life has resumed, and I decided last week to get back in the swing of it, starting off with a piece I knew I had to paint the second my finger released the shutter button on the camera...
The photo of this monstrous wheelie George pulled gets my blood pumping every time I look at it. Pure adrenaline, pushing the laws of physics and seeing just how close one can get before tipping a wheelie backwards. Just moments before this photo was taken, George came up to me and said "I've had this bike 30 years and just now learned how to do a wheelie!" I said "get one as high as you can, but don't kill yourself!" Naturally, he fuckin' nailed it.
Materials were gathered, tables and chairs were moved, and for the next week and a half my kitchen became my studio. Every time I start a painting like this, I go into thinking I know what I want to do, and how to do it and how long it will take. Well it usually doesn't take very long before the project takes over with a mind of its own, and everything you thought you knew gets thrown out the window. I originally thought i'd try and knock it out in one night, but what you see below is about 30 hours of work, somewhere along the 4th or 5th day. I totally got sucked in, vortex style.
Just a few nights ago I finished painting the black and white portion, a mile marker I thought would never come. Around this point, I woke up one morning with a really sore left elbow and couldn't figure out why they hell it hurt so bad... Well when I started painting that next day after work, I noticed I was constantly flexing my entire left arm so as to keep my palate close to my brush. Not so bad for a short period of time, but I had been flexing that arm for hours on end, day after day! Once I realized that, I had to force myself to relax that arm while the other one was painting, so as not to make it feel like it was going to shrivel up and fall off at night.
Half way point!
Hot as balls too. This was around the middle stretch of those 100+ degree days, and a shitty old box fan was all I had to cool down. Musta drank at least 10 gallons of water!
The next step was figuring out something for the background. After much brainstorming with my bud Evan, I decided on a masking technique that would allow me to apply a wash in the background without getting any on George, something that would almost look like a giant water color painting. The masking process took forever, and because of the heat, the masking sheets kept peeling back and needed to be pressed down way too often. It was a race against time, this shit did not want to stay down! But I did enjoy employing a new process, and its one i'll for sure re-visit in the future.
Not a speck on the floor! But it's not like i'm getting my security deposit back anyways...
Yellow wash came first...
Followed by Orange...
Topped off with the red.
Brought it in this morning to be photographed and I gotta say I like it quite a bit here by the entrance to the office... Life sized George just bustin' out of a wall!
The final product!!!
This baby measures 45 inches across by 72 inches high, and doesn't weight more than about 5 or 7 pounds. I intended to keep this one as my own, but in order to keep moving forward with some other motorcycle related endeavors, I'm considering selling it. If you think you'd like to have this original painting in your garage or home or shop, drop me a line and let's work out a deal... Will ship anywhere in the world. E-mail me at Jordan@thehorsebc.net (I mistakenly put a non-existing email address here before, but now i've corrected it, so fire away dudes!)
I'm also considering taking on a few portrait projects for the remainder of the summer season, so if you think you'd like your photo done up in a similar style, drop me a line and lets see what we can do! Thanks for looking guys, your views and comments mean a lot!