Excellence – The Pit Stop

Ferrari Pit Stop - Excellence Acrylic 150 x 50 canvas box

One of the first paintings that I did with a motorsport theme was also one of the first oil paintings that I completed on canvas. It was a tiny 18 x 40 cm box canvas showing a Ferrari pit crew at the box as the car drew in. The picture from Malaysia shows the anticipation, the precision and the result of excellence in teamwork.

It took a couple of years but at last I’ve had good reason to turn that sketch into a larger work using acrylics. The vibrancy of the colour makes it a popular work. Some have looked at it and not twigged the subject matter – at a distance someone thought that crabs (seaside version!) were involved. Those in the crew will know that there has been some artistic interpretation of positioning for which I hope I’ll be forgiven. It just made the sweep of the crew members work better.

Apologies to sponsors, but this is about the motion, noise, excitement and colour of the process; I leave the realism to my photos. Having said that the essence of a good brand is to be recognised without the words and having shown the painting to many they have all remembered the branding from that year; (Shell) fuel, (Marlboro) cigarettes and (Vodaphone) mobile phone company.

Sporting events taking place in London and other parts of the UK in July will showcase athletic talent that has been looking forward and training hard to try to achieve the medals that are awarded every four years. The Brentwood Art Trail has encouraged local resident artists to create work that interprets the Olympic themes of excellence, friendship, respect, courage, determination, inspiration or equality. This painting will be exhibited as part of the Art Trail at Skidmarques Ltd, from 18th to 30th June 2012. It is available to purchase for collection on 2nd July 2012.


Building a Red Bull layer by layer

Mark Webber  Hungary 2010


On his way to his fourth victory of the season, on a great spectator circuit; much of the circuit is visible from the last curve.


First comes the sketch, and then comes the blocking out of tonal areas – this time using raw sienna mixes to give a warm undertone to the painting.


background painting is done in colour blocks with brush direction carefully considered to help with the illusion of speed. Then a bit of glazing to knock back the background and tie together some of the key colour blocks. All very wet in wet and a touch of dry brush on the last working of the background for today.


Some unexpected paint runs towards the bottom right of the painting have given me an idea of how best to capture the reflection of the car on the tarmac in the last stages of painting over the weekend.


Tomorrow the colours will be darkened and more clearly defined on the nose of the car , suspension struts and other key engineering parts more defined. The driver’s helmet will be more strongly coloured and accented.  Finally on Sunday the logo details will be swept on to the car and into the reflections.

Nascar Night

My STR Indy 2007 painting. Speed and Liuzzi where the drivers for the team that year. A certain young Vettel also scored points on his debut for BMW – standing in for the injured Kubica.

Well as the Indy 500 is fought over it felt an appropriate week to complete an acrylic that I’d started a while back, but circumstance had led me to not finish.

Also took the time to review all the F1 programmes and Red Bulletins collected on my travels which together with DVDs got me into the mood for completing the colourful STR crew that I’d sat mesmorised watching at Indianapolis in 2007.

Am definitely pining for F1. Been following the testing at Barcelona, and admiring some of the amazingly arty photographs that have been produced by the photographers out there.

It seems that over the last season they were looking for a different type of record from the standard cornering shots, with some wonderfully creative shots as well as the photo-journalism they need to provide. I do hope that they are from working with the camera rather than photoshop. Loving it.

Life in the fast lane

abstract impression of honda racing car of jenson button in earth liveryJenson Button in the non-sponsored 2007 Honda. It had a picture of the world on it and fans names. I donated and gave up ironing, as it harms the environment. I was lucky enough to visit the factory that year and get close to the car. Spotting my name was fun and they really were all on there.

Let’s go back three years. I was holding down a full-time job in finance – you know the usual 70 hour weeks, never free of the buzzing of the Blackberry, and holidays interrupted by conference calls.Several things happened that were disappointing at the time, but were a great kick up the backside. Time to move on and follow some of those dreams from twenty years earlier.

So a quick review of life and a reminder of the things that made me smile: fast cars, fast bikes, travel, photography and creating drawings and paintings. I’ve never driven in anger myself as I don’t have the urge, but I do love watching others. It’s fascinating to watch the driving or riding styles. Jenson Button is a calm and smooth pedal operator compared to some others in the paddock. His father is also a character adding to the entertainment in the sport.

Moving on

I spent my last year working with a goal to be employed in motorsport at the end of it all. I started to attend some of the Grand Prix in Europe. Networking and coaching led me to some very supportive and well-connected contacts who became good friends. Work during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, in Milton Keynes and more far-flung places, led to a PR and photography  role in 2009 with a UK race team.

At the end of the 2009 season with confidence boosted I set my goals for painting and exhibiting. Here we are! So my works will be a reflection of those journeys and other experiences as I have them in the years to come. I hope they unlock excitement in you too.