Thursday, December 15, 2011

New t-shirts! Old T-shirts!

New T- shirts:

Just in time for the holidays... I have two new screens! This time, you have your pick of several witty, accurate slogans! Hooray for options!

Here they are:


Late Bay Text Options:

Example of "Latebay Poptop", with "Camp In Style" script:


Text options for "Vanagon Westy":

"Vanagon Westy" printed with "Take the bus" text:

Also, just a reminder of all the other screens I have available. Shoot me an e-mail, or give me a call! I'd be happy to help! MZKMN71(AT)MSN.COM









"LET'S GO CAMPING" ...Available without the text.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A quick update on my interior!

Last weekend, I got my new interior in! It REALLY makes a difference in the cabin of my bus.

Full cabin with the doors closed. I have brought the jump seat home to also recover. The cushion (green plaid) is pretty shot, but I will retain the material in case someone wants it original again someday:

(click image for larger format)

All open. You can see that I had to remove the outer arm rests... but they will go back on. If someone has some of the beige captains chairs, I'd be really interest in a trade! Otherwise, I will be re-covering these, so that hole will go away.

Finally, here is a detail of the door panels. I wrapped the door pulls in three layers of hemp (the original pulls were broken) and I wrapped the lock pull in more burlap because the plastic was degraded and I wanted ot clean it up a bit.

So, the bus is pretty well coming along in the aesthetics department! If you want me to re-do YOUR bus door panels, let me know! I really liked this project... it cost me less than $9 in materials and came out awesome! This week, I doubt I will have time, but I did bring home some the slider door panel and as mentioned, the plaid jump seat/ box thing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A menu and a personal project

Hi there Paintedbus fans!

So far this week, I have two things to show. First is a menu for a fancy dinner in. Beau Macmillan of Iron Chef fame is a friend of a friend. He is making the dinner this Friday at the James Beard Foundation in NYC. The theme of the dinner is "Holiday in Paradise." And though Beau is a Boston native, his restaurant is located in Arizona so that's what I went with here.

(Click for larger images)

Also, lately I have been getting a little frustrated with doing all this computer work. So even though I have a lot of birthday and Christmas jobs to work on, it was time to stop and do a project for me. My bus is currently stranded in CT, so I can't work on it in person. BUT... I can take bits off of it and carry them home to my studio. This is what happened here. Last weekend I grabbed all the door and kick panels out of my bus and got around to re-covering them today.

My original panels were in surprisingly decent shape, so I stripped them of their torn and dirty vinyl and recovered them in burlap. Burlap is cheap ($2.99 a yard) and durable. Plus, it fits with the organic aesthetic I will be going with in my bus. Eventually I will be re-doing the seats to fit with theme, but for now I think that these will make a big improvement! A bonus is that my friend and vw wrenching partner (Hi Dave!) said he has a whole pile of old coffee sacks that I can use... So look forward to seeing them used around my bus for various other things.

Anyway, on to the pictures!

Here is what they looked like before... Sad, falling apart and filthy.

And here they are now!

Its like my bus is in my studio!

Note that to get these to fit with the long plastic air vents (that are missing in the before picture,) I will have to modify my seats a little (ie. remove a couple arm rests.) But thats ok by me. As I said above, they will be getting re-upholstered soon anyway.

Thanks for looking! ...and I will post the installed pics up here soon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Paintedbus # 1 is for sale.

Today I found Paintedbus #1 for sale (though the mural was removed.) If someone ends up buying my old bus, I will restore the mural at a very reasonable rate just to see it back in its former glory.

This was the first bus I ever painted. I would assume the inside mural is still there.
Please take a look and consider giving my old bus a loving new home.

Here are some pics of it in its former glory:



And as it sits now:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

...and into December!

Hey Paintedbus Fans,

My mom texted me over the weekend: "You are neglecting your blog again." So I guess it's time to update everyone on my projects! Thanks mom~

Anywho, I have been busy playing graphic designer for the last month and have generated a final image for my friend Jorge's stand up paddleboard (SUP) shop. I have also helped my friend Carole >> WWW.VW4CAUSES.ORG << with a sticker and t-shirt logo for her trip. Both of these have been in the works for a while, but were finished up before Thanksgiving. I have also been spending some time on a VW Christmas card design that is still in the draft stage.

Other than that, I have been printing shirts, organizing my stained glass supplies, making new t-shirt screens and designing a few tattoos. It also looks like I will be actually doing a painting soon for my wife's co-worker Shannon (it's been a while!)

Finally, I wanted to let my southern vw friends know about a mid-winter escape I have planned.

First off, LOGOS!

Here is Jorge's Swell SUP Shop logo. Once he has his website up, I will be sure to post it here for you guys to check it out. After several drafts sent back and forth, we eventually settled on a design derived from an image I listed in my last post. Here is what we came of that:

Carole's logo had a few applications, both for stickers and for t-shirts... so I came up with some designs for each. First is the sticker. It ended up pretty similar to the initial layout I designed, but we made some changes to the font and lighting. Here is the end product for the sticker:

The T-shirt design is admittedly much more simple. One color, white on black, plain and simple.

Mike, the guy who had my do the Commack Ambulance logo, is also having me design his Christmas cards for this year. I am usually pretty shy about showing projects in a completely unfinished state, but for the sake of this update and to stoke my motivation here it goes. The sky will be different, there will be words and Christmas lights... there might also be a wreath on the front, shadows need work... lots to do still. But anyway, here is his bus, all covered in snow:


I have several t-shirts I have printed and shipped in the last few weeks. Here are some examples. This one was printed front and back for a small additional fee and will be headed to Virginia.

Baywindow dash on the front:

Let's go camping on the rear:

I have also printed some bug shirts:

Bug Dash on its way to Ohio:

Another Bug Dash on its way to Phoenix!

and a Flying Bay sweatshirt was a Birthday present for a bus driver in Knoxville, TN:


I am also gearing up my studio for something I haven't done in a loooong long time. Stained glass! Almost a year ago, Jessica's grandfather passed away and I ended up with all of his stained glass supplies. He was a fantastic glass artist and many of his windows can be found in homes and churches all around New England. I hope to use the massive collection of glass, books and tools to take my work in a new direction. I did some stained glass while in school, but my illustration took priority and I put my interest on the back burner. Now with Christmas on the way, it is time to move that up on my priority list! Look forward to lots of nifty new items in the Paintedbus catalog!


I have had notable demand for vanagon t-shirts and witty slogans... so I have the screens stretched, new photo emulsion mixed and the $1.35 in my pocket it will take to have my designs turned into photo positives. Now, I just need to draw out the designs and bring them to staples. Should be later this week... again, new items in the Paintedbus Catalog... some patience advised.


Uh... hmm. It occurs to me that the person I am designing this for might also be reading my posts here. Sorry, this one will have to stay a secret!


Wow! It has been a long time since I painted something... I am excited! Jessica's co-worker Shannon is having me paint a picture of her mother's tattoo as a gift for her mother on Christmas.
You might ask "Why would someone want a picture of a tattoo they have embedded in their skin?" Well, as it so happens, her tattoo is on her back, and even though everyone else can see it, she can not. I'd bet this happens a lot. Without mirrors, you might even forget that it is there. Well, not if it is hanging on her wall! What a fun idea Shannon!


While I am not entirely sure if the mountains of Eastern TN are the best place to go to escape winter, that is where I am headed. Sometime around late January/ early February I am headed down to Elizabethton, TN (in the Subaru) to visit my friend Boyd, his high roof bus and his delightfully spacious, heated and well-thought-out painting/ body work garage. While down there, I will be painting a mural on Boyd's well known Redneck Hightop bus. I will also be getting a visit from another friend I got to meet while on my Big Southern trip: Ed "Oddyboy" and his bus Hannah. Hannah is a 84 (?) standard full westfalia and it too will be treated to a Paintedbus mural.

If I paint a little on my bus first, I will allow it to remain my lucky #9 bus... So Boyd's bus and Ed's bus will be #10 and #11 depending on who wants to go first. That's almost a whole calendar folks! By the end of 2012, A dozen legitimate Paintedbus's will be cruising all over America, HOW COOL IS THAT?!?

ok, enough typing, lol. BACK TO WORK!

Friday, November 4, 2011

busy busy big giant post

Oh Yeah... MY BLOG! Yikes! I have been so caught up with other things that I have once again neglected my poor blog. Hopefully this post will help make up for my shamefully recurring habit of only posting once a month.

I should start off with the fact that my bus is still down and out. I initially had the ambition to get a beater motor out of some derelict junkyard, but was talked out of that idea by a number of people. So now I am saving up for a nice rebuilt motor from a reputable local vw guy. If only all these unexpected expenses would quit sucking my motor fund away, I would be making good progress! In the mean time, my poor bus is living in my friend Tracy's backyard. I am going to investigate having it towed over to my parents house in the adjacent town if I can't get to it before winter.

In terms of artwork, this time without blog updates hasn't been unproductive. I have been busy working on a number of logo designs, preparing for halloween and sending out t-shirts.

My friend Jorge of Miami is opening an online paddle board shop and wanted me to come up with a unique logo. I was asked to include a paddle board, a paddle and a wave. In terms of a color palette, my first run was too New England for a Miami based business. I used black outlines, ivory white, sea-foam green, and a pale cerulean blue. It was cohesive, but not exactly what Jorge had in mind. He told me to think more tropical, so I organized a color palette based off of images of Hawaii, the South pacific region, and Cuba. Hopefully the color palette will get his approval and a design can be picked. I am excited to get some feedback!

This is essentially the same as before, but with the new color palette:

I used the new colors, but also simplified the logo to make it more of a silhouette and gave it more of a bold graphic outline:

This final logo is new, no surfer this time... but it might be too complicated for what you are looking for. I can simplify the waves if all those bubbles look too busy. My wife likes this one the best!:

In a totally different direction, I was asked to design a logo for the Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps of Long Island. Assistant Chief Mike had seen some of my work on the Granny Grose camp out t-shirts and also (without knowing it) on my friend Tracy's bus at various vw shows in the area. Its funny how far reaching the VW community is. Anyway, this project was not vw related, but instead is for "Operation Frosty" ...a charity event that provides food and toys for the less fortunate over the holidays.
Mike asked me to come up with a design that was both festive and holiday themed, but also recognized the 10th anniversary of Sept 11th. In my internet browsing, I also found out that their fleet also included "#16" a coach-built Sayers and Scovill Ambulance... very similar to the Miller-Meteor "Ectomobile" of Ghostbuster fame. So of course that had to go in too!

My first idea was more of a euro oval:

and my second was after I incorporated some requests from Mike:

Mike was so happy with my design, that it looks like I will be designing his Christmas cards this year... VW content this time, lol!

I also spent a good portion of last week preparing for Halloween. This year I was a Plague Doctor! In the 17th and 18th century, the bubonic plague swept through Europe and killed off a large chunk of society. Unfortunately, the science of the time did not include an understanding of how disease spread, so it was thought that bad spirits or bad air was the cause. So in order to care for the stricken and examine those who had died, new or under worked doctors made frightening masks that were stuffed with herbs and incense. They kept their distance by examining patients by poking them with a stick. Fun!

Anyway, after an exhaustive amount of researching, I made this mask (also hat, cloak and stick) out of wire, poly-fill, a WWII Belgian gas mask, cardboard, felt, glue, thread, leather, sandpaper, a xylene based marker, a stick, hand dyed cotton gauze and corduroy. Jessica made her costume too (Red riding hood)... but she just used fabric.

And finally (I told you this was a big giant post) I sent out my first shipment of t-shirts to Dean in New South Wales, Australia! Now I have shirts in the US, Canada, Japan and Australia! Unfortunately, they still seem to be in transit over a week later, so hopefully I will hear from Dean soon! Australia is a LONG way away. :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A new screen and better pics

First off tonight I have a new screen for Sergio who I met WAAAAY back at the Lebanon, CT VW show back in early July. He drives a mildly customized MK2 Jetta and fit the part for my entry into the water-cooled crowd. Here it is drying after washing the photo emulsion out. Thankfully, there was no loss of detail in the screen (this sometimes happens) and I will print a practice shirt tomorrow morning!

I also decided to take a couple of better pictures of Gail's new shoes. So here they are! Click for larger images:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

more kicks

Last night I finished my second pair of shoes. These are for Gail in Arkansas who gave me free choice in terms of the theme. I decided to go with a sunflower field with a few trees and a sunburst. These photos are less than ideal since my camera is still in my bus in CT, so for now, I only have my very old cell phone. Hopefully gail will take some pics once they arrive in AR!