Monday, July 20, 2015

On Cars (Or: This Aspie's Car Journey)

My pride and joy, 2007 Ford Crown Victoria P71, former Corvallis, Oregon PD Unit #818.

As my fans and friends know, old or odd cars are my lifeblood, my main interest that ties into several others, just my favorite thing ever. The time is coming near to get my driver's license, something I hotly desired for so long but couldn't ever pass the road test on, my parents have pricy cars I worry about wrecking, and I had money I needed to spend down. After facing disappointment at the unexpected sale of a 1979 Chrysler LeBaron Medallion Coupe I fell hard for, I looked at pretty much one thing: old RWD American V8 sedans. I love Cadillacs. Lincolns, Oldsmobiles, Buicks, etc., but the big RWD V8s of those are too big and plagued with many issues.

A Crown Vic cop car was something we could all agree on, me for its heritage, power, low cost, long life and durability, my dad for reliability and easy parts availability, my mom for acceptable fuel economy, and my program/case management for safety. After test-driving a knackered '94 Crown Vic this one appeared and I fell hard for it. One test drive and I was hooked. $1300 later, all mine. Gonna fix it up as I go, keep it "Bluesmobile style" in black & white with police labelscars, and drive it until it's no longer safe to drive. I freaking LOVE my car and am so proud to have it.

And on to my journey... my first love automotive-wise was an old jade-green Kaiser Manhattan in a backyard near my childhood home, closely followed by early rotary Mazdas (nearby was a hoard of early rotary and piston junker Mazdas, all long gone now), Forward Look Mopars from the rusted hulk of a 1960 Plymouth Fury in a neighbor's yard, and VW after being introduced to Herbie in 3rd grade. I fell hard for a brown 1978 Dodge Magnum as a preteen after seeing Bobby Joe Long's Magnum on Forensic Files and ultimately it was crushed. I owned a 1979 VW Rabbit, 1984 Ford F250 and 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass at different times, and tried to buy a '74 Chevy van, only felt the bond & emotion for a vehicle the way I do my Crown Vic with my F250, the '74 Chevy van, and that now crushed brown Dodge Magnum.

I have attended car shows since I was a tiny tot, would love to go to the races more and plan to attend Cottage Grove & Roseburg dirt track hornet stock and sprint car races when I am fully licensed & can afford to, but have only taken up car show photography recently.

Junkyard photography, tho, was another story, my dad still tells the tale of losing me in the old Harrisburg Auto & Truck Salvage lot when I was a toddler and some my earliest, now long lost, work, was taken in Scott & Sons' junkyards here in Eugene. I made my name as an artist with this piece below, an elegant but derelict 1955 Chrysler New Yorker.
"55", my most famous piece
And lastly, diecast gets airtime here... have always collected it and as of 2010 got serious about it. My favorite piece is my Greenlight 1/43 scale Bluesmobile or my Norev Renault R5 TL (LeCar).

Friday, July 10, 2015

On Malaise Era Mopars

I am a fan of "malaise era" Chrysler Corporation cars, to a pretty strong degree. To start the story here, I'll think back to the early 90s when I was still a very small child. Friends of the family had a refrigerator white early 70s 4-door Dodge Dart and the mother of the Dart's owner had a gold and white, mint-condition 1975 Dodge Coronet 4-door. I was very fascinated with these cars, but years passed and the cars went away, until one day I was eating leftover cold pizza on the couch on a no-school day, turned on Forensic Files and caught the popular early episode "The Common Thread" about serial killer Bobby Joe Long, who owned a red 1979 (not 1978 as commonly stated, including in the show) Dodge Magnum.

above 3 photos property of Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Forensic Files and used under fair use rule

   There happened to be a brown, early 1978, loaded, P-code (police) 400 big-block V8, fairly decent Magnum in a tow yard near where I was going to school at the time, I tried for years to buy it and a couple of Dodge St. Regis sedans parked near it, but all were scrapped a couple years ago. I gave little thought to cars at the time for a number of reasons, but refurbished a Motormax first-generation K-car 1/24 diecast (pics below), but then...

Fast forward to 2015, things in life were all going great and I was in the market for a car of my own since I am hella paranoid about damaging my parents' vehicles, and just as I had the requisite dough to buy a car, what do I see parked at the ghetto courtyard apartment complex by me? A Malaise Era Mopar, namely a 1979 Chrysler LeBaron coupe. Have been working to be able to determine if I like driving it, if the one minor problem can be bargained over & fixed and is all that's wrong with it, and if so I'll buy it and make it my daily driver.

And what discussion of malaise era Mopars is complete without bringing up the Bluesmobile, a ratty 1974 Dodge Monaco police interceptor that was as much a star of the show as John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were in the 1980 cult classic film The Blues Brothers? This is a car that effectively demolished a mall from the inside out, jumped drawbridges, did all kinds of other crazy stunts, all the while with great music, acting and dialogue throughout. I have on order a 1/43 scale Greenlight Collectibles Bluesmobile, coming soon to my collection (file photo below) to go with my already cherished copy of the film's prequel trade novel Blues Brothers: Private.

And to call it a day on this entry, I also found a hotly desired Greenlight Plymouth Trailduster 1/64 diecast last week, and have a whole squadron of Johnny Lightning B-body Dodge Monaco police cars.

Hopefully soon I will finally be holding the keys to my own, real, drivable, usable, malaise era Mopar, and that will probably make my entire year if it passes with the mechanic and we can haggle on the price.

And so we meet again

After a long hiatus I have decided to use this as a regular blog as well as for a portfolio, made a more professional interface and am gonna post other things here too.

Too knackered to write much more

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Special Gift for Chuck Harral at Springfield Auto Recyclers

Print and envelope on back of my couch.

As many of my loyal fans know, I have been shooting at this classic car dismantler in Springfield, Oregon for several years now, and my arguably most famous work, "55" was a product of a shoot at this yard. Local businessman and car guy Chuck Harral has operated the business for decades, originally as the family business, but nowadays mostly as a hobby and service to car restorers and rodders the world over. However, Chuck is very amenable to artists of different kinds using his junkers for subjects and props if they are careful, respect the cars and artifacts and obey his yard rules, and I enjoy his graciousness and positive attitude as well as his appreciation of junkyard art- rusty hubcaps, badges & license plates, a visible register gas pump, a traffic light, a 1940s Ford flathead V8 on an engine stand, assorted oil cans, and the works of assorted photographers gifted to him, adorn the classic greasy, dim, petroleum-smelling, but charming, yard office. Now a work that has made lots of waves in the art world, that is arguably the most famous piece ever shot in his yard, is in his collection.

The original file of 55, that made lots of waves with Kindtree and Special Academy exhibitions

Thanks so much for the artistic opportunities your yard has afforded me! I will make many more return visits and bring you more art someday!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Autism Artism 2015 & Autism Acceptance Month

 The turnout and overall event for the Autism Artism 2015 gala opening at Territorial Winery in Eugene, OR was phenomenal, and according to the president of hosting organization and great local resource for the autistic, Kindtree Productions, was the best ever. I sold one print at the show and one print via deviantART to a friend after the show, of the same image, and as a founding part of the Kindtree Artist Guild Operations Team, or "art team" for short, I was in part behind this event. It was a truly marvelous and beautiful thing to watch this event go from discussion around a table to a fully fledged event and to be a part of the whole thing.

Looking forward to moving it to the Oregon Supported Living Program Lincoln Gallery in May and to organizing it for 2016, for which I hope to have my own secure enclosed vehicle with a large load space to help transport goods and artwork to the event and be able to help in a larger magnitude than this year.

And do not forget that April is Autism Acceptance Month! We are already known to almost everyone, now it's high time for us and our common thread, our different operating system, to be accepted!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Rename, reboot and new Instagram

So the page has been permanently renamed Distant House Photography, as has my whole operation. I cleaned up my Instagram and dA and made them part of my professional portfolio.

Trying to get serious about my artwork with new camera, new shoots and all that, plus Autism Artism 2015 happening and chances of me having other shows, plus being part of Kindtree Productions' Artist Guild Operations Team, tells me to be more professional

Friday, February 20, 2015

Autism Artism 2015


These 4 photos are juried in for exhibition in the Kindtree Productions Autism Artism 2015 gallery show, gala opening April 1, 2015 from 5:30pm-8pm or so, Territorial Winery at 3rd and Adams in Eugene, Oregon.