Sometime ago I decided to paint a still life of an outboard motor. The sight of these have long evoked nostalgic feeling and painting for me is largely about the joy of contemplation, so I knew this subject would sustain my attention. It took a while to find a suitable motor to paint. I wanted one that wasn’t too old and not too large and heavy. Eventually I found this 1948 2.5 hp model at an antique shop in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Lucky for me it came with a stand because it is a bit of a beast to move around.
I wanted this painting to be like the other pieces in this series in that they are painted head-on in a straightforward manner without perspective or dramatic lighting. They are all kind of schematic in approach and I intended to continue that with this piece. It proved quite difficult because I had to measure every item, every angle and every distance. It’s pretty easy to do this kind of work when the objects are small, but much harder when they are over three feet tall (and fairly heavy!).
The underdrawing, which can be found on this blog, was interesting to me because of all the markings from the measurements and I decided to reproduce some of them on the final layers of the painting.
This work is life-size on two wooden panels and measures 40″ x 30 1/2″.