Biography Don Packwood - Automotive Art -
Sir Stirling Moss made the point, that he wasn’t a natural driver, in his opinion, having to work very hard to be fast. On the other hand he believed drivers like Nuvolari, Fangio and Senna were naturals. What set these individuals apart was that they possessed a gift, an instinct for driving very fast. This is also true for artists in their painting. I think most people with training would achieve some skill in drawing but I agree with Moss, there are naturally gifted artists, instinctively able to achieve results that some would spend a lifetime trying.
My parents providing me with my first oil paints, brushes canvas etc. on my eighth birthday and I’ve been painting off and on for 50 plus years, being much more serious in the last 15 or so. I can even remember my first painting entitled the Lonely Tree. On completion I noticed that the tree had depth, visually 3D but I didn’t understand why? I soon realised that the balance, proportion, perspective and lighting are all equally of importance and giving the final elusion of depth and volume to the composition.
This is the original Sound from the Monza Racing - Picture Title RED MAX
I’m sure most artists go through a time agonising over what they need to say to the world. Someone years ago said to me, while I seemed to be experiencing a bout of painter’s block, “paint what you know and love.” Cars have had a tremendous impact on our lives, as a means of transport, recreation or sporting and or simply a fascination of collecting. For the passed 120 years or so, we’ve had a love affair with the automobile. Painting one of these wonderful machines as an image on canvas with it’s compound curves and of course the materials… paint work, glass, chrome, nickel, brass, wood, fabric and leather each of which require different techniques to portray, this is so very satisfying to achieve a likeness.
I prefer not to copy a photograph, although I’ve been asked to simply do this at times. I would rather with artist license to create an original composition. I do enjoy the research process though - the gathering of photographs and reference materials - and that can be quite a challenge when depicting more obscure events or subjects. A period I really enjoy painting scenes from is the early years of motoring, domestic or sporting. At that time motor racing in particular was so dramatically dangerous. Hurtling along on tree-lined public roads, full of potholes, gravel strewn, lined with very enthusiastic carefree spectators with little regard for safety. It all made for adrenalin-pumping death-defying action.
The great artists from history are recognised not only by their unique style or technique but also sometimes the subject matter… I believe one must specialise in order to become known and, in my opinion, it is skill of execution that dictates greatness.