Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The vintage truck series story ;)

5x7" pencil
More about the artist today… :) I have a fiancé who is incredibly hard to shop for. His own family tends to just try to get away with gift cards to home depot. Once in a while a clothing store although even for clothes they don’t bother much. He is (ahem) INCREDIBLY particular. Which is why he’s good at what he does too.

Anyhow, when we first started dating he had a very big workshop & in half of it there was this rust colored heap of metal of auto parts he found in the woods. Well maybe in someone’s backyard but I doubt he paid for it. In around a year’s time of tinkering he turned it into a mammoth restored ’54 chevy with a 454 that out-pulled most anything, and won trophy’s for good looks in at least one auto show too. It’s only amazing because it was a PILE OF RUST and mixed and matched parts.. I’m not exaggerating.. calculus was involved in figuring out how to make it work (he’s an engineer). There were gear ratio conversions done to sync up some parts from one year/make to another year make. Enough so that he had to have a multipart title that was bit of a nightmare…. Ever heard Cash’s song “One Piece at a Time”? That’s for reals man.. fer reals! ;)

Anyhow, so these aren’t that great but in years past I’ve given him two truck drawings. This first one here was done off of a picture I found online – which is why it’s not in my portfolio.. it’s nearly the same year as his first truck there at least but in 2005 that truck wasn’t done. It came out a lot better than this mind you & had interesting custom aspects as well.

5x7 " charcoal
This year I drew this 2nd one here(above) yesterday after his first and most favored project truck that he did when he lived in North Carolina the first time. It was very sad to see him sell this a year and a half ago before we moved down here. He had 4 trucks and I had 1, all full sized (including mine), and all were overpowered workhorses that didn’t get decent gas mileage at all and really we didn’t need to bring more than one truck down here.

It was heartbreaking for him, but at the same time these trucks would go from being vintage auto show winning entries to slowly starting to rust & need repairs.. and it’s not like he has the garage of Jay Leno or anything..

I’m really glad he was happy with yesterday’s gift. It’s so tricky, I think if I’d done one truck that went on to be further modified he would’ve looked at the picture and had mixed emotions. You probably think “oh he’d love any picture of any of his trucks I’m sure” but no, truly… there are some things he doesn’t want to be reminded of.

I’ll say this though, I’m pretty disappointed my choice to use charcoal here – it’s not ideal for works this small (both drawings are 5 x7”).

2008 raising of timberframe, work crew at end of day
I'd also thought of framing this picture for him, it's 2 of the trucks he'd built from 'scratch' (the one they are sitting on is the mean green machine). And his white everyday driver... plus a his first timberframe barn raising there. That barn was also a pile of rocks in the woods & he did everything from the stone & mortar to the cedar shake shingled roof at the end. Truly impressive work and it was a horse race for me to decide this year. Gotta save something for another year I guess (I'm open to ideas too other than just printing & framing that!).

While originally I had planned on doing a picture of the dogs, that went over well last year.. but I really wanted to give him something that was for HIM and not both of us so much. Maybe for Christmas a nice pastel of the dogs. I don’t have much in the way of gift ideas this year especially! Typically they involve really practical things like zip ties and duck tape.

No… really.

I have to leave you with this song. It used to be our theme song (and it’s pretty funny!)… course the real restored trucks he made hardly were for free but the rest well.. so true!

Johnny Cash » One Piece At A Time Lyrics

Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on cadillacs

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now, I never considered myself a thief
GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now, up to now my plan went all right
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

Ah yeah Red Rider this is the Cottonmouth
In the Psychobilly Cadillac come on
Ah this is the Cottonmouth and negatory
On the cost of this machine there Red Rider
You might say I went right up to the factory and picked it up
It's cheaper that way

Ah what model is it

Well it's a '49, '50, '51, '52, '53, '54, '55, '56 C
'57 '58' 59' Automobile

It's a '60, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66, '67
'68, '69, '70 Automobile


Heather said...

Beautiful artistry, and I LOVE that song!

Field of Dolls Studio said...

I have a hard to shop for man as well. And zip tied and duct tape are very welcome gifts, I figure if you get them what they want it doesn't matter how strange it sounds to us :)

Morgen said...

Thank you Heather - & yeah, I'm embarrassed to admit I thought the end there was more complicated years than that. There's a few Cash songs I try to sing along with and, uhh, yeah. Well I try. :D

Anne, true! But mostly they're great for stocking stuffers & once in a while I want to get soemthing a little bigger for him. ;) I think we'll have to get more dogs & trucks to give me things to draw!