Art imitating reality


Nice paint job

If this writer had spent as much time at his homework, as he did drawing cars, then life may well have turned out somewhat different, but not so much fun. Hours spent conjuring up futuristic designs for anything from sports cars to vans. Some actually put their talents to good use, turning the dream into a reality and ending up working as real car designers. Others, myself included, who fell into the “must try harder” category simply carried on dreaming and drawing until other distractions came their way…

Of course then there are the late starters. Geoff Bolam is a good example. Having gone to art college and trained as a graphic artist, he then spent the majority of the working life working in advertising and design, culminating in running his own design consultancy which he did for 20 odd years.

During that time his love for things automotive never died, a fact born out by a succession of hot hatches and then more latterly, a timely foray into the world of classic cars which netted him his first Aston, a fire engine red DB6 which in hindsight proved a very sound investment indeed. Another has subsequently followed.

But while Geoff was able to scratch one part of his itch for things automotive, it took a few more years before he returned to his schoolboy roots – to take up drawing and painting. Not surprisingly the subject was one very close to his heart. Cars.

That was back in 2005. But such was Geoff’s love, and it has to be said his ability, that he finally took the plunge four years ago and turned pro! In doing so he has been able to spend the time developing a unique artform that has caught the eye of many an admirer, the latest of which were the guys at Classic and Sports Car Magazine who featured Geoff’s work in their Christmas special.

What makes Geoff’s work stand out is that rather than painting on canvas or wood, he uses aluminium, ideally recycled from the subject in question, though it has to be said that sometimes the subject can makes this a tad tricky, not to say downright expensive, his study of the 250 GTO being a case in point.

“Vehicles often had Aluminium bodywork so it felt very appropriate and opened up lots of possibilities to use the metal as part of the composition and to introduce a sculptural quality to my work…” explains Geoff “…I paint in oils and glazes onto specially fabricated or reclaimed Aluminium panels and apply different surface treatments to the Aluminium to make it part of the composition – areas are polished, etched with acids or textured to represent features of the car or to introduce background design elements.”

Understanding that each painting can take anything up to eight weeks to complete gives you a fair idea that Geoff’s work is not of the bargain basement variety, however his limited edition prints, which are also reproduced on aluminium, do make them more accessible to a wider audience of petrolheads.

So if you fancy buying yourself a late Christmas present, we think one of these would do very nicely indeed. And of course should you be fortunate enough to own a car that Geoff would like to paint, then that could be a win, win all round. You can find more at

Tags: , , , Published on 31st December 2017