How the Sturgis Painting Started
My dad saw a cute kid standing at checkout with his mom at Walmart.
"I didn't want to seem creepy, but I went up to his mom, explained I was an artist looking for a cute kid to use in my 2021 Sturgis painting. I gave her my number and told her she could google me and get back to me if she was interested."
Luckily after 2-3 weeks, Jade called Scott and set something up! When they got to talking, they realized they knew each other through years of doing business together.
"It was all just too coincidental" said Scott.
The Day of the Shoot
On the morning of the photoshoot, Jade and Haze arrived at Jacobs Brewhouse & Grocer with a bag of clothes and excitement in their eyes. We started by picking out their outfits and giving them an idea of what we were hoping to capture during our time together.
Before they arrived, Scott and Ryan rolled Sharon's 1936 VLH and a green Schwinn Stingray over from the Gallery and set up behind the Brewhouse with a bucket of soapy water and hose.
Scott wanted an open area for us to be able to maneuver the bikes as I shot and a simple enough backdrop for Dan to photoshop a more interesting background in the final image Scott planned to work from.
Being seven months pregnant at the time of the shoot made it more challenging for me to crouch down in positions that would normally be easy for me to do! The temperature quickly rose to the mid 90s as we moved the bikes and models into different positions.
Starting the Painting
Like every painting of Scott's, they start out with a pencil drawing to keep the angles and proportions accurate.
From there, he blocked the blank canvas in with color to create a solid base before adding any detail.
Once the base coat has been completed, he started blending parts like the motorcycle headlight; adding the highlights and lowlights to give it dimension.
"It's difficult painting an old motorcycle because everything is exposed; the wires, nuts and bolts, compared to a newer bike which has everything enclosed making it look cleaner and taking less time to paint."
The thing about new bikes, is they don't have nearly as much character as the vintage ones though! The bent coils and rusty bolts make the painting more interesting and show Scott's true talent as a photorealist.
Fun Fact: This is the first time a motorcycle from the family's collection has been in one of Scott's paintings. Though the 1937 Knucklehead in "Daddy's Girl" is ours now, it wasn't until AFTER the photoshoot when Scott impulsively purchased it from Black Hills Harley.
Once the motorcycle started to really look like one, he began the tedious process of adding bubbles and moisture to the ground, bicycle, and motorcycle.
Watching him add hundreds of little white circles with a highlight and lowlight was reminiscent of me watching him work on "Gimme Shelter" in 2016.
The Story Behind the Painting
A woman is getting herself ready for the long ride to the Sturgis Rally. Her son wants to be a part of her preparation, so he rides his bicycle over to help clean her VLH.
We chose this photo as the winner because we thought it captured a raw interaction between a mother and son. We believe it doesn't need an explanation as you see a little boy making his mom proud as she watches admirably in silence. It's a special moment the mother will reflect on in the coming weeks as she's away from her family and memories like these.
It's hard to bring emotion into a painting when it's just a motorcycle but when people are included, it helps portray a mood and feeling. That's the best part about including models in the works.
"In this case, it wouldn't be the same if Jade were alone without her son. The interaction between her and Haze and their expressions are hopefully what says it all.
FUN FACT: This is the first painting that has ever included a mother and her child.
The only paintings that have included children over Scott's career are"Caught in a Daydream", "Courtesy Wave", the three newer Shadow Series, and "Daddy's Girl".
"I wanted to bring a smile to the viewers' faces when they see it" he stated.
Jade is grateful Scott stopped her and Haze at the Walmart. They are honored to be a part in such an eventful and emotional painting.
"Moments Like These"
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A special thanks to Tate Hanson for lending us his Schwinn bicycle, Jade and Haze for modeling, Ryan for helping more the motorcycle in the heat and capturing behind the scenes footage, Olivia for photographing the shoot and writing this blog and Dan for helping create the background.