Open Road. Original painting 32 x 72, brush-worked oil paints on canvas.Open Road depicts the handlebar of a Harley-Davidson 2000 Electra Glide being gripped by Bill wearing his Harley gauntlet. With only the handlebar of the bike shown and only the gauntlet of the person on the bike, I wanted merely to hint at both the bike and the person. The two are painted into the lower left of the canvas, setting up a perspective of shifting possibilities: Is the rider the viewer? Or is the viewer riding alongside the rider? Either way, the viewer gets a virtual reality experience.
The setting is a storm near Eastend in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan, 40 miles north of the Montana border. As always in my work, I used brushes and cloths as tools to apply the paint. Open Road took me nine months to complete.
The idea for this painting came about when I was looking for a way to express the feeling of riding when optimum conditions are no longer on the menu. The black leather gauntlet, so realistically painted that it can almost be felt, symbolizes variously power and menace. Such a gauntlet was not unlike those worn by highway men in the 17th century, ready to rob a fellow traveller. The threatening sky creates a sense of urgency. The rider must move fast to make it to the clear skies at the horizon. All of these elements give Open Road as sense of drama.