If you need your car door repainted, look no further
Aston Martins are a bit pricey now, but you could always buy a DB4 door and hang it on the wall. Because if Geoff Bolam has painted it, you’ll want everyone to see it. It’s one of the ‘canvases’ on which Geoff works, along with his quasi-technical line drawings overlaid with rendered profiles. “They’re junked skins from a restorer,” explains the London artist. Or you can have your art on sheet aluminium. This was the USP which tempted the graphic designer to close his design consultancy after 20 years and turn full-time to painting.
“I’d always loved cars and being a designer I wanted to get beneath the skin, to show the form which meant more than one view – but what sort of background? Then I had the light-bulb moment – paint onto metal.”
It took a while to figure out the technique. “The metal is sanded, then using hand-cut or photographic masks the line drawing and lettering are etched on, or sanded in a different direction which gives an amazing effect. Then I apply the image in oils over a special sealer. It can take a week for the design, another for the etching and up to four weeks to paint”.
Surprisingly he offers prints too, on aluminium composite board. “It’s very involved, using a specialist printer and super-hi-res images, but it’s great for reproducing my images as light reflects back through the slightly translucent ink.”
Alongside the design series and private commissions he’s also exploring more dramatic visualisations – “more dynamic, abstract, colourful” – but still on metal. In which he’s following an earlier practitioner – David Hockney.