Driven to Paint the Mechanic’s Apprentice

The Mechanic's Apprentice by Artist Ryan Williams
11”x14” Original Oil Painting by Ryan Williams
How many times have you been driving down the road when you suddenly hear a rattle or a pop and you think, “Crud. How much is this going to cost me in repairs?” I dread those moments because we own used cars and as the years go by it becomes harder to justify the repair costs. However, the decision-making process is rendered easy when you have a mechanic-friend who insists on performing the repairs free of charge. That was the situation for me which lead to my new painting – “The Mechanic’s Apprentice.”

I drove over to my friend Richard’s house and as he worked on my wife’s car I took notice of his old dog; Mary is her name. I had an idea for paying for working on the car. As he worked under the hood I started snapping shots of Mary in different positions. In the end, I never really got a pose that I thought would translate into a successful painting. So I used the shots as a composite for the position you see in this work.

Originally the painting was to be a simple portrait with a standard nondescript background. As I started to sketch, however, I realized I could make a light hearted scene of this sweet and gentle soul. The idea also crossed my mind that if I painted a scene that illustrated the loving relationship between Mary and her owner Richard, then the gift would have that much more meaning to Richard and his family in the years to come. Paintings of loved ones require more attention to detail and not just on a technical level, but on an emotional level as well. Since Richard loves to work in his garage with Mary walking around and investigating, the focus of the painting became the strong bond between the dog and owner. The painting still needed to primarily be a portrait of the dog so I just limited to human interaction to a single outstretched arm. I felt this simple gesture would give the viewer pause to wonder if Mary is helping of teasing Richard. In this scene you just can’t tell and I like it like that.

It’s good to have friends and its important to let them know from time to time that you appreciate all they do for you. My intention with this painting is to let Richard know I appreciate his generosity. In Episode 14 of Brushes and Bytes Video Blog I discuss this painting along with my hopes for 2014. Now give me back that wrench Mary.
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2 thoughts on “Driven to Paint the Mechanic’s Apprentice”

  1. I absolutely love this painting. I’ve also had the pleasure of watching your talent grow and mature. The picture you did of the lighthouse for me, while very good, is not the same work as what you are currently doing. There is more depth now. Your art seems to be from and out of you now rather than an exercise in the technical aspects of painting. I ‘feel’ when I look at your newer works more than before.

    1. Thank you for the compliments. A few weeks ago I found myself staring at some of my old work and it struck me that I simply don’t paint in that fashion anymore. I agree about the greater depth as I learned a lot more about color the last few years and I also feel more confident attempting detailed works. I still have much to learn about trying to make the perfect painting. I just need to be happy with each one and learn from each painting’s shortcomings so the next piece is even better.

      Thanks for subscribing! 😉

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