Thursday, December 29, 2011

Customized Viper Car Art | Artist Proofs with Custom Remarque

(noun) - A remarque is a small, personalized drawing or symbol that an artist adds (near his or her signature) on a print. The presence of a remarque increases the print's value.

Michael draws or paints a custom remarque, done to order for the client per their preferences on his Artist Proofs. Limited to only 20 per print edition, they are very rare, personal, and of course, a one-of-a-kind. 

Here are a couple of examples of what Michael has painted as the remarque for clients that purchased an  Artist Proofs with Custom Remarques on the Viper painting, "Dry Lake Snakes." Please excuse the quality of the  photographs, they are low resolution and poorly lit. The remarques, themselves are impeccable.

The "Spiderman Edition Viper" - there were only 2 of these built!
2008 Venom Red Convertible.
The client asked for the "top down"
Snakeskin Green Viper ... just beautiful!

Michael's Artist Proofs make an incredible gift, especially for those collectors that have 'everything!" Because they are so unique and personal, the lucky recipient knows you were thinking only of them. — Linda

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our Christmas Tree | Hallmark, Carlton, American Greeting, Liberty Collector Car Ornaments Galore!

"Is Michael a watercolor artist with a focus on car art, or is he a true gearhead / car guy?" — is probably one of the top questions we get asked by car enthusiasts and art collectors, alike. I think that the ornaments that make up at least half of the decorations on our family Christmas tree (photos in no particular order) say it all!

Here's our tree this year. Yes, that is
"The Goat Farmer"
Gallery Edition Canvas

on the wall. We use that wall to rotate the art ...
hanging different ones at different times.
Our first muscle car ornament - the 1966 Mustang convertible,
complete with gifts in the back seat! Produced in 1992, it's the
2nd Hallmark Keepsake ornament in their "Classic American
" Series. We actually have two of these!
New this year, a 1968 Mustang Fastback from Hallmark's
Keepsake Collection . Except for the cream colored 'c' stripe,
I can't help but thing of Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt!
Could not resist adding this little gem ...  so this year we added
two! The 1st is the green fastback and the 2nd is this 1967 Shelby
GT350 from American Greetings' Heirloom Ornament Collection.
Since Michael released "Pure As The Driven Snow" this year
(white and blue Shelby GT500s) we just had to have this one!
1964 Pontiac GTO from the "Classic American Cars" series
by Hallmark. Dated Christmas 2010.
Dated 2002. 1970 Ford Mach 1 Mustang. A Hallmark Keepsake
Ornament from their "Classic American Cars" Series.
1964 1/2 Ford Mustang "Kiddie Car Classics" peddle car
made by Hallmark.
1961 Chevrolet Impala, "Classic American Cars" Series by
Hallmark Keepsake. Dated 2006.
40th Anniversary Ford Mustang  GT ornament from
Carlton Cards' Heirloom Collection. Dated 2004.
1969 Hurst Oldsmobile 442 from the "Classic American Cars"
series, by Hallmark Keepsake. Dated 1997.

1970 Chevelle SS 454 by American Greetings. This one's not
dated stamped, but I think it's circa 2003.
Dated 2009, Hallmark's 2009 Ford Mustang GT 45th
Anniversary Special Edition.
Finally, our 426 Hemi Engine Ornament by Liberty
Classics. We bought this one in Carlisle at the GM Nationals!
Produced in 2006.

We also have Barbie, Scooby-Doo, Sponge Bob and Hotwheels (also car related) adorning the tree (we do have kids, after all). But, it's easy to see, by the shear number of classic and modern car ornaments, that even over the holidays, our love of the automobile shines through!

Here's to a safe, peaceful, happy and fun holiday!! — Linda

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Car Art in Man Cave Garage

We have a number of clients that are creating man caves in the house and, even more often now, in the "garage." Here is one we had a chance to visit recently and see for our selves. Big thanks to Tim for giving us the grand tour. He has a really cool, eclectic collection of cars and a garage space to suit.

This summer  he opened his property to the public to host a car show with proceeds going to prostrate cancer. Due to a scheduling conflict we couldn't make it this year, but hope to for 2012. I'll post more info as it becomes available. In the mean time, here are a few pics of this set up.

Viper Gallery Edition Canvas, "Dry Lake Snakes,"  (bottom right) still wrapped,
ready to hang with the other Michael Irvine Mopar canvases.
Tim likes the Gallery Edition Canvases because he can hang them high
 and still enjoy the details. Giving him more "space to hang stuff!"
 I like the way he has them arranged ... two horizontals bookended by
two verticals.
Along with the art, Tim has an incredible collection of diecasts, models,
and Viper magazine cover (along with the customized car!)
In the background, Michael and Tim. Under the car
cover ... Reggie Jackson's burnt (now rebuilt) Challenger.
I took the photographs with my phone (forgot the camera at home), so they're not the best quality. But still, who can resist sneaking a peek into someone else's garage! — Linda

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Easy Sugar Free Apple Bread

It can be a juggle sometimes; along with Michael's car art, there's the kids, the house, the cooking, the laundry, along with baking sugar free breads and cakes for my diabetic parents. With most of Michael's talented energy concentrated on the painting of the automotive watercolors (it is where he shines, after all), the rest pretty much falls to me. And, unlike some people, I am not a super mega multi-tasker!

In how we run our business, we take no short cuts — Michael takes so much time and puts so much into each and every painting, that the "business" end (which falls primarily to me) has to be reflective of those same high standards.

That is one of the reasons why, when I have to, I find ways to make household duties easier or quicker. There are, after all, only so many hours in a day. The recipe that follows, is one that started out as banana bread, originally published in 1987 in the Pillsbury Kitchens' Family Cookbook. I've modified it to suit our family's dietary needs. According to my parents, it's even better that my "World's Best Banana Bread".

I also like this recipe, because unlike many others you'll find, this one has ingredients which are pretty much a staple in most kitchens. And, the prep time is about 10 minutes!

Easy Sugar Free Apple Bread

2 cups Splenda Granular
2 cups apple sauce
   (no sugar added)
1 cup margarine,
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt (or "No Salt")
4 cups all purpose flour

Grease a bundt cake pan. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, blend first 9 ingredients, beat 1 minute on medium speed. Add flour, mix well — I like to speed this up but using the mixer at low speed for about 1 minute. Pour into bundt pan. Viola, your part is pretty much done! Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the thickest part comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.

The apple sauce makes this a very moist bread. The cinnamon and nutmeg give it a rich flavor. As a bonus, it doesn't taste sugar free! If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. — Linda

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Personalized Art: Custom Remarques

As you may already know, along with the Limited Edition car art prints that automotive fine artist Michael Irvine offers of his original watercolor paintings, he also releases 20 Artist Proofs with Custom Remarque. I've touched on these in previous posts (search Artist Proof on this blog) and there is a page on our website dedicated to these unique, personalized works:

What makes them so unique, is that he paints (or draws) the Remarque on the Proof, as it is ordered. Each Remarque is done to order, per the client's wishes. It's a very inexpensive way to have a one-of-a-kind, done just for you! They are an excellent way to commemorate a special occasion, get your car "in a painting", honor a colleague, retiree, family member or friend. Or, to give yourself a little something!

Here are a couple of Michael's more recent ones. In the photos, rather than cropping right to the Remarque imags, I've left a bit of the painting image showing.

Remarque on "Shakin' Up The Street", featuring
2003-2004 Mach 1 Mustangs.

Remarque on "Bird Sanctuary", featuring the
Pontiac Trans Am, Firebird and Formula.

If you have any questions, please contact me at As the holidays approach, the time is getting short for ordering an Artist Proof with Custom Remarque as a Christmas gift. However, there still is time. Place your order by December 12th, and you can have your Artist Proof under the tree!! — Linda