Towards a Bicycle Utopia: A Work in Progress
I have not had a good history with bicycles… Hit by car: check; Car hit by me: check; Bicycle stolen: check; Falling off of a friend’s bike in their driveway after having moved less than 5 inches: check. It should be noted however, that Marlon is the exact opposite when it comes to cycling, and is currently slowly shaking his head at me.
Despite this awful & pathetic legacy, I was all over it last year when my good friend, ridiculously clever illustrator & cycling enthusiast, Dushan Milic asked us to create some texty artwork to help sponsor him in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Mr Milic needed pledges ($$$) in order to participate, so the idea was with a certain donation amount you’d have the opportunity to select an 8 x 10″ print from one of the artists involved. Pretty great idea, if you ask me.
While doing some research for her own cycling piece, Jacqui found the perfect phrase for mine: “Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia.” A quote attributed to H.G. Wells, I thought it really worked well with the spirit of the ride & my general sensibilities.
So here’s where I started: A nice 20 x 16″ piece of wood, made lousy with yellow & white and covered with adhesive film. Then the drawing of circles ensued, followed by the incising of various shapes & lines into the film, loosely indicating bicycle tracks, chains & gears.
Some of the film was then removed, leaving most of the masking intact, revealing some dynamic little shapes.
Then: seemingly haphazard paint-bashing. Note the so-called “Giant Circles” template on the table…
Then off comes the rest of the film…
Here we see the mysterious letter stenciling & masking procedure, plus the addition of some candy-coloured spoke-like shapes.
Sometimes I’ll take a photo of the unfinished piece and print out an 8.5 x 11″ version to doodle over. I find it sometimes helps when working on a more complicated piece like this one:
And the finished product: