I love old tractors. Especially the vintage ones. They have great curves, include wonderful texture of rust and peeling paint, lean at jaunty angles on flat tires and have exhaust pipes adorned with rusty coffee cans. They have personalities and keep stories of plowed fields, dry spells, floods, parade rides, and near misses.
I fell in love with painting them over six years ago. The old retired ones spoke to me the most and the mystery of their exposed engines combined with their massive tires intrigued and challenged me as a painter. I was fortunate to find another local tractor connoisseur. A man named Bill who keeps his extensive collection on Stonypoint Road in the next town.
He owns hundreds! After obtaining permission from him to paint on his land, I painted my first tractor there. It was among these tractors Bill came stomping up to inspect my handiwork and loudly exclaimed "Your not going to paint that flat tire are you?" This moment later developed into a series all titled "Bill's Flat Tire” which turned out to be one of my best selling collections.
Three years ago I entered Grad School at the Academy of Art. It has been a whirlwind affair as I teach three days a week, drive to San Francisco two days and madly do my homework on the weekends. It has been an amazing experience!
I found myself painting works I never dreamed of and added figure, portraits and cityscapes to my portfolio. I also became torn on what I wanted to paint my final series of for graduation. Last semester one of my teachers advised me to paint what I am most familiar with and what speaks to me.
I took a deep breath, stood back and looked at my work. It was still those beautiful old tractors calling to me.