Sunday, June 26, 2011


A color study for the paintng Godiva 2.

The idea is simple.  Basic point A to point B transportation. No air conditioning.  No traction control.  No ABS or EFI.  No radio. No paint or hubcaps, even!  Just an engine, wheels, and a cockpit.  The only "luxuries" are a rearview mirror and a pumpkin face shift knob.

7x9 inch pencil drawing with digital color.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cactus Migration

One of my stranger ideas.

The idea is that there's a species of cactus that uproot and stampede every few generations or so.  When they do, people go out and try to catch them.  Why?  Curiosity, rumors of magical powers, the pure adrenaline rush of chasing a 40 mph cactus, other unknown reasons. 

I wish I could remember what sparked the idea.  Who thinks of stampeding cacti?

This image has been desaturated slightly, the original is a bit brighter.

10x29 inches, painted in watercolor.  Original available here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Grouper

If you look at my work over the last twenty years, you may notice my early work depicts fairly everyday scenes.  The night before a race.  Relaxing with a beer after a hard day on the farm.  Lunchtime.

But as time passes, you'd notice strange, incongruous and just weird elements worming their way in.  Mechanical sea monsters.  A space rocket in line at a gas station.  Pickups with tentacles.  And mermaids.

So many mermaids.

"But why, Matt, why paint weird stuff instead of the sort of Americana themed work you see printed on coffee mugs?"

It's simple.  I like weird and ridiculously unlikely stuff.  I like the idea of taking a '53 Caddy ambulance and making an altered gasser out of it.  I like the thought of a Dodge Power Wagon modified to do a 10 second quarter mile straight up a vertical rock face.  Everybody makes a gasser out of a Willys coupe, but has anyone tried it with a stock Willys woody body (no fiberglass, thank you)?  Or a 1965 International Travelall?  I want to see that, and if I have to do it myself in the form of a painting, so be it.

I might even throw in a mermaid or two.

Because who doesn't love mermaids? 

Anyway, this piece is a mild expression of this idea of weird.  A sort of  not too pretty grandma's car, in grandma colors, done up for the dragstrip by a mermaid with a toolkit.

Put that on your coffee mug!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gathering Ballast

The idea being that if you're going to make a dragstrip gasser out of a pickup, you'll need to put a bit of extra weight over the rear end to improve traction.  Otherwise, you'll just be spinning the tires at go.  Hay bales push the tires down onto the tarmac, which translates into a better quarter mile.

15x25 inches, watercolor.  Available for purchase here.

p.s. I'm currently working on Ballast 2, featuring a mid-60's Dodge truck.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Impossible

The idea here is to take a short, boxy, 60's 4x4 SUV, and drop the body right to the ground, while preserving the 4WD drivetrain.  Read that last sentence again.  That's right, the finished product must scrape the ground and have a functioning four-wheel drive.

Maybe it can't be done.  Maybe it's a ridiculous and unfeasible idea.  But how cool would it be to have a low rider that can climb a vertical rock face?

People have contacted me with plenty of pictures of SUV lowriders, but they've all been 2WD, so no cigar.

I've seen some pretty wacky custom cars out there, including a Caddy camouflaged as a tank and an aluminum fishing boat fitted with a drivetrain.  How many Batmobiles are there?  There's got to be at least one of these somewhere in the world.

Watercolor, 10x22 inches.  This painting is available on Etsy.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Primitive

One of my post-apocalyptic pieces.  Civilization has been swept away, and there's not much  left except some amazons and a few old cars, like this Chevy rat.  This particular car was found upside-down in a swamp, slowly decomposing.  Fortunately, all the amazons are expert mechanics and machinists, and the Chevy was back on her wheels in a matter of days.

Watercolor, 14x21 inches.  Click for purchse information.  Prints available here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Monster Truck

Or maybe it's a Truck Monster.  No one who's gotten close enough to find out has lived long enough to tell anyone.

Originally, the idea was to have the truck on the edge of a cliff, with the tentacles coming from below, not connected to the truck at all.  I was never happy with the composition,  so it stayed in limbo, eventually fermenting into the 180 proof monster you see here.

Watercolor, 15x21 inches.  Available for purchase here.