My Art Cars
This page shows photographs of two of the three art cars I have created, the Kozmic Dream Machine and the Music Machine.
Click here to see a detailed accounting of the entire process involved in the making of the Music Machine.
If you arrived here through a link or search engine, be sure to visit my Home Page. There is a lot more to my website than just this page.
The Music Machine, a.k.a. the "Zappamobile"
About the Music Machine
I inherited this 1989 Ford Thunderbird from my deceased grandfather, so it also has sentimental value to me. I did all the taping and airbrush work. I taught myself everything I know about painting cars. This is my third art car. The most commonly asked question is how long it took---approximately 200 hours. I worked on it from July 16 until August 16, 2003. In March 2005, I was accepted to display at the Detroit Autorama and took home a first place trophy for my class. You can see pictures of the Music Machine's display on my Autorama 2005 Page. In March 2008, I displayed at the 2008 Detroit Autorama Extreme and won a "Best in Class" trophy.
Why Did I Make an Art Car?
I was first inspired to create an art car in the
mid-90's when I was enlightened by the film, “Wild
Wheels”, a documentary about artists and their art cars.
Soon after, I transformed the car I was currently driving into an art car
by spray-painting it with a fish motif.
The interior was decorated with feathers, fur, and plastic animals. My
second art car was created in 1998. This
time I used an airbrush and spent about 150 hours painting it, in comparison to
the mere 20-30 hours spent on the first car.
It was called the “Kozmic Dream Machine” because of its cosmic theme.
It is pictured near the bottom of this
page---click here to see the Kozmic Dream Machine. My latest car expands upon the cosmic theme to include the
music and philosophy of Frank Zappa, a composer,
guitarist, film-maker, businessman, ambassador and more.
Creating and driving my art car is an excellent way to share my artwork
with a wider audience. This
particular car also helps to open people’s minds to the work of Frank Zappa, a
man of multiple intelligences who is
often misunderstood by the public.
Details about the Design
To do the hood, I used a photograph of Frank to design a small pencil drawing
that was only in 2 shades (black and white). Then I used a grid to aid in
the transfer to the hood. It was definitely the most difficult thing I have ever
attempted to do on a car, and possibly ever (I’m not used to working on a
60” X 80” canvas!). Zappa’s face is painted in a very expensive
paint called Harlequin. It changes color depending on the angle from which
it is viewed. This particular color of Harlequin is meant to change from
silver to green, but in the right light, one can see hues of red, orange,
yellow, green, blue and purple as well. His hair flows out on both sides of the car morphing into a
musical staff onto which the guitar solo for “Rat Tomago” from the album
“Sheik Yerbouti” is transcribed in stencilwork. The song "Rat Tomago" is
actually a solo lifted from the song "The Torture Never Stops."
Click here to hear "Rat
Tomago" on Youtube. The reason this song was chosen is because
out of the two FZ music books I had, it was the only song that pretty much
stayed on the main staff. All the other songs had notes that were way too
high or low to fit and would have affected the design too much. The remainder of the
car is painted in acrylic enamel. The entire car is then clear-coated with
On the back of the car is the other source of “action”. In the center is God’s Eye (the pyramid with three 7’s) spurting out a rainbow and symbols I created. A Zappa quote starts at the right side of the pyramid and continues in rainbow order around the right side of the car, then around the left side until it re-enters the pyramid from the left. The quote reads “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music…” Then underneath the pyramid it says “…Music is the best.” Another favorite Zappa quote is on the front bumper of the car---“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible”.
On the roof is an eclipsed sun and moon. This design began as a watercolor which can be seen in my artwork pages in the Watercolor Paintings Gallery. I enlarged it using a piece of string to aid in the drawing of the circles along with my math skills to properly calculate the correct radii.
The interior also has a variety of decorations. The seats and floor mats are leopard print. Fluorescent paper flowers adorn the roof. Above the glove box is a picture of Frank and a drawing that spells out Frank Zappa. You can see a close-up in my Drawings Gallery. Bobble-head dolls are another theme throughout the car. My favorite is on the dashboard above the glove box---Hula Homer Simpson! He even sings if you push a button on his foot. There are also mini Simpsons bobbles around the steering wheel area. In the rear are 2 frog bobbles, hanging out with a stuffed Kermit and the WB frog.
Click on each thumbnail below for a larger view.
Here are two videos shot as if you were to walk around the car.
This one is a short clip of the hood, showing some interesting cloud effects.
Still want to know and see more? Check out the links below...
THE MAKING OF THE MUSIC MACHINE---A detailed accounting in pictures and descriptions of the extensive process from start to finish.
PHOTOs from the 2005 Detroit Autorama---The Music Machine won first place in its class!
PHOTOs from the 2008 Detroit AutoramA Extreme---The Music Machine won Best in Class!
If you're a Frank Zappa fan, you might also enjoy looking at these pages:
My Frank Zappa T-Shirt Collection
My Photography of the Zappa Plays Zappa 2006 Tour plus a few video shorts
My Photography of the Zappa Plays Zappa 2007 Tour plus a couple video shorts
The Kozmic Dream Machine
This is my first airbrushed art car, The Kozmic Dream Machine, a 1988 Pontiac 6000 STE. It took about 150 hours to complete. Interestingly enough, it was finished on the exact same date as the Music Machine, August 16th, but in the year 1998. I was able to participate in five Woodward Dream Cruises with the Dream Machine before the engine finally gave out. Although I was sad to see it go, I was very excited to work on the T-Bird, which I started working on the very same day the Dream Machine was towed away to its final resting place.
The Kozmic Dream Machine's design begins on the hood, where there is a bright shining sun. The flames flow and swirl around onto the sides of the car where they are sucked into God's Eye. Since the sun's light is white light, it exits as a rainbow, as if the pyramid were a prism. The rainbow flows around the back where it flows into the trunk of a tree. Later that year, I decided to redo the tree with a more weeping willow type effect. The new tree is shown in the second top view photo as well as the last picture. On the roof is the moon.
Click on the thumbnails below to see enlarged views of the Kozmic Dream Machine.
The first six photos were scanned back in 1999. They were sized smaller and the colors are less saturated.
Photography of me with the Kozmic Dream Machine by Matt Voorhees and my parents.
In October of 1999, I re-painted the trunk with a different tree.
Check out my other artwork!
[ Acrylic Paintings and Papier Maché ] [ Watercolor Paintings ]
[ Ceramics ] [ Sculpture and Transformations ] [ Pyrography (Woodburning) ]
[ Tie-Dye and Batik ] [ Drawings ] [ Animations ] [ Pysanky ]
[ Halloween Costumes and Jack O'Lanterns ] [Glasswork and Jewelry ] [ Miscellaneous Artwork ]
[ Photography ] [ Family Artwork ] [ High School Art Lesson Plans ]
[ Art Cars ] [ The Making of the Music Machine ] [ Detroit Autorama 2004 ] [ Detroit Autorama 2005 ] [ Detroit Autorama 2007 ]
[ Detroit Autorama 2008 ] [ Woodward Cruise 2006 ] [ Woodward Cruise 2008 ] [ Woodward Cruise 2009 ]
[ Michigan Avenue Cruise 2008 ]
[ Insects, Spiders and Other Tiny Creatures ] [ Frogs ] [ Toads ] [ Turtles ] [ Birds ]
[ Raccoons ] [ Opossums ] [ Groundhogs ] [ Rabbits ] [ Squirrels ] [ Mice ]
[ Trees and Wooded Scenes ] [ Hines Park Maple Tree ] [ Saugatuck Sand Dunes ] [ Croatan National Forest ] [ Wildlife of the Huron River in MI ]
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