Allison Lear: Each piece that I paint is thought out to create something that’s both visually interesting and well composed. I usually try to steer clear of painting the entire body of the rider and keep my focus on the details in the motorcycle. The organic folds in the leather and denim of the riders clothing are definitely fun to paint, and I feel like it adds a warm, soft balance to the rigid, industrial nature of the motorcycle. I start out by sanding and staining the wood. I’ve gone through a lot of different stain colors and finally landed on what I feel works best. I’ll draw out the motorcycle on the piece of wood before painting. I use black acrylic paint and treat it like watercolor to create different shades of grey. It took a lot of patience and I’ve messed up plenty of pieces, but I finally think I’ve got the hang of it. After the painting is finished, I’ll make a slim wooden frame and paint it black to tie it all together.
AL: I started working with wood many years ago and have always enjoyed working with my hands and building small pieces of furniture. Wood is such a unique and versatile material, and every single piece is different. To me, a lot of wood grain patterns look like artwork in and of itself. It wasn’t until high school that I actually tried my hand at painting on wood. My senior project took up about half of the year and was done on a 4’x8’ sheet of maple plywood. That’s when I fell in love with it and haven’t painted on much of anything else since.
AL: My dad was the first in our family to get a motorcycle. He has been riding for many years now. One year for Father’s Day, I wanted to do something special for him, so I painted him a picture of Otto Walker on his 1920’s Harley-Davidson BoardTracker racing at Beverly’s Speedway. This was the first time I tried painting a motorcycle, and I was really pleased with how it turned out. Using motorcycles as the main source of my work makes the entire process from start to finish so fun since it’s a subject that I’m truly passionate about.
AL: I’ve been making trips to Pittsburgh for a few years now, and I fell in love with the city after only a few short visits. I solidified my decision to move here after Glory Daze. I was able to meet and network with a lot of really amazing and creative people. Being in a place and surrounding yourself with others who share your interests definitely made me more motivated to be creative. I will say, moving here amidst a global pandemic has made things a little more difficult, but I’m so excited to see absolutely everything Pittsburgh has to offer once things settle down and hopefully normalize. This city is full of life, and I know that moving here was absolutely the right decision for what I’m doing with my artwork and the direction I see myself taking.
AL: I really do feel a connection with the industry. It’s been great seeing where this has taken me so far, and I hope the connection I feel now grows as I continue establishing and progressing with Outlander. I’ve had a vendor booth setup at a handful of motorcycle shows and ended up running into many of the same people and motorcycle vendors that I initially met at Glory Daze. The motorcycle community is a tight-knit group full of sincere and heartfelt people, and it’s been really great connecting with them.
AL: I’d love to go and be a part of more motorcycle shows throughout the country. I want to network and meet more people who share similar life passions as I do. Commission work is also something I want to delve into a little more. People feel connected to what’s pertinent in their own life. Doing custom, one-of-a-kind pieces for people that’d cherish the work for many years to come is a direction I definitely plan on working towards.
AL: My artwork is available to purchase through my website www.outlanderart.co. For commission work, contacting me through email (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the easiest way to get the process started. For Pittsburgh locals, I’d be available to meet in person to get an idea of what they’re looking for, sorting out and discussing details, etc.