Every day and most evenings in July I spent planning, researching, sketching, and painting my new Art Car. I am realizing that I’m much more patient about the planning and sketching stages than I was with my first car painted twenty years ago and my second Art Car created in 2011. When I painted those cars, I only had a week’s vacation every year and had to make the most of my time. This summer I had the luxury of taking my time, painting in a large clean garage and being close to home if I forgot something. The summer heat and mosquitoes were my only obstacles.
I used One Shot sign painter’s enamels on the car and painted with three small brushes. A few of the paint cans were new, but most were from other car projects. Luckily, I did not spend a lot on supplies. I am looking into having the car clear coated soon. In the past I hand clear coated a car myself because I liked to add more designs to it as the years went by, but this theme has so many details that I think a professional one and done approach is best.
The theme is an iceberg with Arctic animals on the ice or flying above it and Arctic Sea life in the “water” on the lower part of the car. I wanted to make sure that the animals I chose were consistent with the region around Iceland, Greenland, and Svalbard. The car, a 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, is named DER BERG! I’m making a point of learning about the creatures I’ve represented and about how climate change, over fishing and pollution are affecting their habitats. When all fifty Republicans in the Senate have been opposed to decisive action to confront planetary warming, it feels like the time for artists to be more involved in drawing attention to obvious issues. Voters are more worried about the economy than the environment, but if the voters don’t have clean air, water and food or live in a part of the world with new extreme weather and temperatures, more money won’t be the answer. I have been invited to show the car at a local school and I’d like to say more than, “Hey kids, look at the pretty fish.”
DER BERG was finished and dry on July 28th. The first song on the radio when I drove out of the garage was Celebration by Kool and the Gang. That made me smile all the way to the grocery store. You might think that artwork on a car would be distracting to other drivers, but I find most people are looking at their phones or not noticing the cars around them when they’re driving. It reminds me of the false myth that indigenous people couldn’t see the ships of the early colonizers because they had no reference for what they were. Ha ha, just kidding, people are busy driving.
Enjoy your summer and stay cool.
Photos by Dragonfly Leathrum
Photos of Dragonfly painting the car by Christina Peters