Tales of a Traveling Airbrush

When I write up one of my more memorable masterpieces, or some of my various memories, I will post them here for you to enjoy. Comments are welcome; I'll try to reply.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Joy of Painting

Tales of a Traveling Artist

Hey, how many of you remember the TV show called “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross? During the half hour presentation this amazing artist would paint a beautiful picture right before your very eyes. His demonstration was accompanied with ongoing patter about special techniques and the brushes used and these helpful explanations inspired me during my early efforts. One result of finding out all the “how to” and living this wonderful life as an artist is having ideas that may also qualify as entertaining for the masses. Here is an idea I came up with for a similar TV show. Enjoy this pitch for some interesting entertainment and pass it on because it needs to reach the right person to become a reality. Thank you in advance for your help with this. See you down the road,
Dave “Letterfly” Knoderer

The Joy of Painting

Consider seeing a delicate hand painted effect come to life right before your eyes that produces stunning fluted marble columns that support an arbor filled with flowering vines that imitate an airborne garden where angels would play, on what was once a plain dining room wall, or a commissioned mural on the exterior of a building that advertises a motorcycle dealership that becomes a community landmark, or travel with the artist across the border to visit a collection of Hot Rods in Canada that all receive old school pinstriping, airbrushed live fire effects, hand lettering, gold leaf gilding and even a humorous moose fish logo, or drop in on the excitement and clamor of a motorcycle event where the artist is creating intricate pinstripe designs right before the eyes of the leather clad and tattooed masses. The story about the traveling artist is interesting but not new.
Artisans need an endless stream of new customers and have utilized travel to find and serve large client bases for centuries. Even before the populace was literate, traveling artists thrived as their image making gifts served to provide a link in communications in the form of visual painted “sign” works, promoting greater understanding in those communities wherever they went. “Snapper” was the slang term for a sign painter who, with a minimum of inventory (a string and a piece of chalk to snap some lines) could thrive on the road lettering signs.
Today the lifestyle of the traveling artist is greatly facilitated by the cell phone, recreation vehicle and computer and the finished art projects are often superior than in yesteryear, thanks to modern durable paints and accurate precision spray equipment.
Traditional brush painting as a manner of accomplishing visual delights in this day and age has waned due to the computer taking the labor out of the graphics industry despite opportunities that abound for creating novel artwork by hand while entertaining as an artist at numerous opportunities across this country.
Letterfly, the pinstripe and mural design artist embraced travel well over thirty years ago, fresh out of high school, when he joined the circus. The knowledge of how to travel, accumulated at that time, came in handy a decade later when, in his role as an airbrush artist creating murals on motor homes, he began to serve clients that also lived an itinerate lifestyle. Letterfly, also known as Dave Knoderer, has a traveling painting studio efficiently loaded in a beloved VW van that travels behind his RV living quarters. With a penchant for adventure, you will often find him heading toward an unknown destination, always pursuing ideal weather.
As an apprentice to the sign painting trade over thirty years ago, (a trade that has all but disappeared today) old world techniques for pinstriping, hand lettering, pictorials, gilding and fine décor were learned as a teenager. Using this knowledge, the artist has developed the ability to create an endless diversity of designs in any size. Massive projects such as a mural on an outside of a building are just as familiar and comfortable to Letterfly as an intricate design on a motorcycle. Brushes made with special components in a variety of styles perform specific functions. Yardsticks, tapes, a sock filled with charcoal, pencils; snap lines and other common materials make up the low-tech arsenal of the old school artisan. Part of a potentially interesting show could include “tech time” when the disclosure of knowledge of time-honored techniques takes place for the sake of today’s young people. As well as tips for a sound foundation as an artist, developing good, basic pencil drawing skills.
In addition to being an artist, with a background in entertainment, Letterfly is also an educator that regularly presents an enlightening seminar entitled “Rolling Art,…Why a Mural?” where enthusiastic young artists and those curious about commissioning hand painted artwork are educated about various aspects of this interesting genre. The hour long presentation is the perfect forum for anyone interested in any aspect of custom paint and special consideration is given to introduce guests to what to expect as the result of having some hand painted artwork of their own. Letterfly will also give a Cherette for a community that wants to explore the possibilities of murals to perk up their small town and host an airbrush or handpainting demonstration to interested artists guilds to benefit curious artisans.
The artist regularly writes an ongoing series of written vignettes that depict being immersed in this lifestyle. The ongoing adventures of his life on the road are called “Tales of a Traveling Airbrush.” These stories help to keep friends and clients on the artists email address list informed to his whereabouts.
Perhaps a program that features live creation of hand painted, custom imagery combined with interesting “how to” dialog blended with rigors of being on location and a background of RV lifestyle and travel across this country will make interesting viewing. To learn more please visit the websites; LetterflyPinstriping.com and Letterfly.com, and contact me at Dave@letterfly.com
Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea with others.
Sincerely, Dave "Letterfly" Knoderercell 813 505 5539