In the early part of the Twentieth Century, my grandfather was a well-known breeder of Shorthorn cattle, a dual purpose milk and beef breed imported from Scotland. I show his farm on Fischer-Hallman Road in Waterloo with these prize cattle. Although the farmhouse still exists, the farm is no longer there, and the breed of cattle has all but disappeared. I painted this family history piece for use on my autobiography, “Picture Maker”.
This painting was commissioned for a man who flew night missions in W.W. II. His heart is still clearly in Scotland, even though he has lived here all his life. It is not unusual for a person to commission me to paint a personal spot, a dream perhaps. I feel flattered that someone would take me into their confidence.
This rural property was totally refurbished by the couple shown in the driveway. Their labour of love took many years and this painting marked the finished project. Only two years later they sold the property but took the painting with them as a portable piece of their farm.
Set in the Needles area of North Dakota, the throb of the motorcycles echoes against the stone pillars. The exhilaration felt by these vacationers is evident as they experience the freedom felt by many Harley riders.
I am not a snob when it comes to subjects for paintings. I am interested in the human experience. An English art dealer said that my work is contemporary genre. I was intrigued when I was approached to do this six-person portrait, and perhaps I should say three-motorcycle portrait, of a trip these people took on their Harleys. I thought it a challenging subject and one that is very interesting given my experiences in Sturgis in 2002. I hope I conveyed the fun and excitement of the riders as well as my own.