Thursday, June 12, 2014

Good Ole Boys and General Lee Still Got It

I'm sure the Dukes of Hazzard Charger inspired many young budding car guys and gals over the years. Autotrader has taken something old (ish) and made it new again ... in an entertaining ad. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Classic Car-Themed Album Cover #1

This is just too cool (On The Beach – Neil Young)


There are many wonderful things about being married to an artist, like seeing first hand his creative mind at work. Or, watching him create something from nothing. Or, the pride I feel in him every time I look a one of his paintings. As his partner, I spend time promoting Michael's work, managing our website, doing paperwork, preparing shipping labels and dealing with a lot of emails. And although I take personal pride in my ability to be Automotive Arist Michael Irvine's supporting partner, I think my favorite part of being the wife of an artist is interacting with our clients. Whether in person or on the phone, it is dually humbling and exciting to talk one-on-one with people that have chosen to include Michael's automotive paintings in their collections.

Just this morning, I had a fun and interesting chat with Bill. He called to order "The Competition Has Arrived" — we talked for over half an hour! He gave me whole new spin on why he collects Michael's art : for inspiration and motivation. He doesn't need to spend hundreds of dollars on a motivational speaker, he said, when he needs a boost he turns to his art collection!

"The Competition Has Arrived" — Shelby GT350, GT40, Daytona Coupe,
Competition Cobras at Le Mans.

We spoke about how focusing on a goal can help make things happen. How both of us are familiar with the practice of writing down goals or ideas and visiting the writings daily to inspire and visualize. Bill has taken that one step further, starting with a Mustang hubcap mounted on the wall when he wanted to find the "right" car — and it worked! Having the car part motivated him to work towards his goal. I said that maybe "The Competition Has Arrived" would bring another Shelby or Cobra into his life. :)

Then the conversation turned to the power of thought, and Bill brought to my attention a famous proverb that has undergone several versions over the years, but the original goes something like this:
"Watch your thoughts. They become words.
 Watch your words. They become deeds.
 Watch your deeds. They become habits.
 Watch your habits. They become character.
 Character is everything."
Such a simple concept, and yet so true - thank you Bill for sharing that and your enthusiasm and experiences with me. It's like having coffee with a friend! I think it's pretty obvious why I enjoy 'meeting' our clients, whether on the phone or in person, so very much.

Here's to the power of positive thought : Please enjoy a safe and happy start to a long awaited (after that crazy winter) car show season. — Cheers, Linda

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Carroll Shelby - The Only Man to Win at Le Mans as a Driver, Builder and Team Owner!

Michael and I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Carroll Shelby twice. The first time was back in 1992  when we took a road trip to Watkins Glen in New York State for the SAAC Show. You had to stand in line at 5:00 am to purchase a poster. That got you the privilege of standing in line again for a couple of hours in order to meet the legend. Was it worth it? Oh yeah! We both had our photos taken with him, and I had him sign one of the original black and white magazine ads. That brought a smile to his face. "I haven't seen one of these in a long time," said Shelby. We still have the ad.

The second time was more recently at the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame event in 2010 honoring Shelby. This time, with an entourage of people around him, it was just a quick hello and congratulations.

Shelby on stage at Motorsports Hall of Fame, Toronto.

As an automotive enthusiast, you cannot NOT know who Carroll Shelby was. But, you may not be aware of just what some of his incredible accomplishments were. One of them being his place in history as the only person to ever have crossed the finish line in first place at the famous Le Mans course in France as a driver, builder and team owner.

With driving in his blood, and already well recognized the world over, the chicken farmer from Texas joined the Aston Martin team in 1954. In 1959, Shelby, along with co-driver Ray Salvadori, took first at 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Winners Ray Salvadori, Carroll Shelby and David Brown
In 1964, the Cobras and the team at Shelby America were victorious at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, coming in first. The Cobra placed fourth overall and first in the GT class ... beating Ferrari! In subsequent years, the team would win at Le Mans again and again. 
"My proudest moments are beating Ferrari for the World Championship in 1965, and working with Ford to win Le Mans in 1966 and 1967." - Carroll Shelby
1964 Le Mans pits.
Waiting for the #5 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe.

And Shelby didn't stop there. Developing a driving school, marketing a chili mix and designing cars, Carroll Shelby's life seems to have been about pushing hard and winning, whatever the challenge. It was Shelby's incredible journey and resulting success in the world of international racing, that was one of the inspirations for Michael's Ford Racing painting, "The Competition Has Arrived".

Michael wanted to create a piece that paid tribute to the cars that over several years, would take Europe by storm. The resulting painting captures the electricity in the air, as both the Porsche and Ferrari team members look on in amazement as the new American competitors are being unloaded.

"The Competition Has Arrived" by artist Michael Irvine
"I decided to take the creative route and concentrate on the excitement and awe that must have been felt by everyone present when the Shelby team landed in Europe. I wish I could have been there!"- Michael Irvine
From the response of collectors and enthusiasts around the globe, I'd say Michael succeeded! — Linda

Monday, March 31, 2014

Displaying Your Passion with Automotive Fine Art

dec·o·rate (verb)

make (something) look more attractive by adding extra items or images to it. synonyms: ornament, adorn, trim, embellish, garnish, furnish, enhance, grace, prettify;

nascar, petty, bobby allison, bobby issac, talladega, racing, wing car, aero car
"Battle on the High Bank"
Decorating is enhancing the space you live or work in. The decor should not only be functional to suit the purpose of the space (ie: living room, foyer, shop, man cave, office, bedroom, kitchen, dining room, boardroom) but also be a reflection of you, your personality, color preferences and likes. You should feel comfortable in the room and be proud of the decor.

With the amount of time many of us spend in an office or a kitchen, or relaxing in a living room, family room or den, art, along with the paint scheme and furniture choices, plays a huge role in how we feel about the space. The art you choose to adorn your walls should represent the things you are passionate about and take joy in. For people like us, that's cars.

Classic cars, the hobby, the whole culture have been a big part of our lives, even before Michael focused his talents with a paint brush on the automobile. Back in the early '90s, when good classic car art that appealed to us was hard to find, we hung a few of Michael's early originals.

Now, don't get me wrong ... there are no show posters, or dealer posters, or digital car renderings on my walls. What we do hang are a lot fine automotive art pieces. Predominantly Michael's of course, but there are a few others hung as well. We have an eclectic collection of originals, framed Limited Edition Prints and Gallery Edition Canvases. With color playing a dominant part in our decision making, the pieces and their framing dictate where in our home they'll be hung. We literally have automotive art hung in nearly every room of the house, including a formal dining room, traditional living room, and small powder room!

As you've probably guessed, I'm a bit of a car girl. And you may be telling yourself that's why we have so much car related art in our home. But if you're thinking that only women with a  fondness for the automobile would decorate with automotive fine art, think again!

One of our client's wives (self proclaimed non-car lover) was persuading her husband to purchase C1, See Them All in the large canvas. Needless to say, our client was a bit baffled ... his wife had never before shown any interest in "car art". Her reaction? "This isn't just car art, it's a fine art painting that just happens to be featuring classic cars. I mean look at it, with all that color, what's the difference between this and a floral or a landscape except the shape of the subject matter." Nicely said!

We agree wholeheartedly. Art doesn't have to be a floral, landscape or abstract. It can be more than just something you hang on the wall to match your couch. Art can truly represent your passion, bring you joy and give you a sense of pride while you share it with others!

With Michael's automotive fine art we get the best of both worlds; we get to enjoy beautiful works of art that are alive with color and creative imagery, while also allowing us to be surrounded by pieces that reflect our lives and passions.

GT, Shelby, Boss 429, boss 302, boss 351, mach 1
"Thoroughbreds" and "Big Blocks Behind The Barn"
original watercolor painting, gallery edition canvas, viper, bonneville salt flats, free shipping
"Dry Lake Snakes"

We've recently had a number of clients email us or post photos on our Facebook page of their "Michael Irvine Automotive Fine Art decor." I'll be posting them in the near future. Thank you for including Michael's work in your lives. — Linda