Beautiful women and beautiful cycles.
Let's face it, those two rank extremely high on the "What makes a guy smile" list. If I performed my duties to the best of my ability, a beautiful woman and a beautiful cycle is what you see above.
The fetching lass sporting her cycle team colors of red, black and white is Kathy. The hunk of shimmering chrome supporting Kathy is a Kawasaki ZX-9R. We'll have to thank God and the Japanese for these two striking figures.
However, the person responsible for the creation of this portrait is Miss Kathy's generous husband Brian who commissioned the art as a present for their 25th wedding anniversary. Oh, and I'd be remiss to not mention the 1.15 carat princess cut Canadian diamond he also bestowed upon his princess. That's class, baby.
Credit for this smoldering concept also has to be given to Brian, as he, himself, succumbs to the allure of the wide open road. All of you bike inasaniacs will appreciate that Brian has collected quite a few vintage Kawasaki over the years including a 1974 H2 triple and a 1978 Z1-R. He also has a 1985 Ducati S2 Mille which is presently sitting in his office (Yes! His office!). It's very mint with about 8,000 kms and only sees the road every other year. You may even catch Kathy and Brian at their favorite vacation stop, the Laguna Seca races. Homebodies this couple AIN'T.
I have my own emotional investment in Kathy's pin-up art. For a two year period I was the staff artist for a magazine called Super Cycle. A job that I assumed would be stressful and daunting proved itself to be an educational challenge. I hadn't even painted a motorcycle before accepting the position, and I assumed rendering a bike engine would be something short of performing brain surgery, but the experience was harmless if not fulfilling. Bouncing all those many, many reflections off of so much machinery helped my illustration skills immensely. Drawing complicated robots and other high-tech gadgetries would later prove to be a walk in the park thanks to my stint at Super Cycle. The only downside was having to read the actual cycle fiction that my art was created for. It was damn-near painful when I'd receive a script from, say, a prison inmate (frequent literary contributors to the 'zine) that frantic office deadlines had prevented from going through the usual proofreading channels.
Kathy and Brian, hugs and handshakes for reuniting me with my old buddy the iron horse. It was nice to get my hands good 'n' greasy--er--inky after all these years. Hopefully my enthusiasm is evident in your portrait, Kathy. My enthusiasm is even greater now that such a lovely model as yourself is hanging on my gallery walls.
Post script! Some endearing news from the Toil front! Brian sent me pics of his back with the newly rendered tattoo of Kathy's above portrait! I mean GAWD, that ain't bad detail. Look at all that machinery--and including words on the bike is just amazing. It took me quite a few cups of coffee to nail down Kathy's facial likeness, and Calgary Canada's ink master Steve Peace did it with a friggin' needle! I, myself, couldn't be prouder. Excellent results.
If you live even remotely near Calgary, Alberta Canada and are in need of some decent ink work, you'd be doing yourself a disservice to not travel to Immaculate Concept to check it out.