Sunday, November 29, 2009

Clay Lacy

Another of the San Diego paintings is of Clay Lacy. Clay is a legend within the aviation community. He started the first Learjet charter business west of the Mississippi. He raced a P-51 Mustang at the Reno Air Races, winning in 1970. He also raced in the 1971 California 1,000 Mile Air Race at Mojave in a Douglas DC-7B. Yes, a 4 engined DC-7B in a closed coarse race around pylons! I was there. I saw it! He came in sixth place.
While doing all this, he was moving up the seniority food chain at United Air Lines as a Captain. He had started with United at the age of 19 flying DC-3s. Upon his retirement from United, he was number one on the seniority list for all of United. He has the most pilot in command time of any pilot with over 50,000 hours.

Friday, November 27, 2009


One of the paintings that I created for the San Diego Air and Space Museum was honoring the WASPs. The WASPs were the Women Army Service Pilots in WWII. They were over 1,000 women trained as Army pilots, flying all the hot fighters and bombers of the day. Their jobs were ferrying the aircraft around the US, flying target tugs and doing all the flying they could state side to free up the men to fly combat over seas. This got their toes through the door and proved that they were quite capable of flying anything!
The WASPs in the painting are with a P-38 Lightning. The P-38 is one of my all time favorites. I played on 2 P-38s as a kid at Brackett Airport, La Verne, CA. One of these is now restored and is part of the collection at the Planes of Fame Museum.
The cartoon caractor is "Fifinella", the WASP mascot.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sean Tucker

Last Saturday night, the 5 paintings that had been taking up most of my time recently were installed into the San Diego Air and Space Museum's "Hall of Fame". The honorees were in attendance and everybody had a wonderful time. Sean Tucker was one of the people to receive the honor. I had seen him perform his wild aerobatic routine quite a few times over the years so it was a thrill to be able to create his painting.
He couldn't have been happier with the painting. He said to let him known when I'll be up his way so that I could stop by, see the airplane and go for a little flight!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This photo shows the entire bird. When the Navy thinks that an FA-18 is getting to old for carrier landings, they give it to the Blue Angels. The Blues don't do carrier landings and fly the fighters light (stripped down) so they are useful as airshow performers for a time. When the Blues are finished with them, NASA gets them. I looked all around and couldn't find a walker for them to get around with. Actually, they still look like they are in great shape. I'm trying to convince NASA that when they are finished with them, they should give one to me. It would look great on top of a pedestal in my front yard! I'm sure the neighbors would agree. You can view my Blues ride by going to Stan Stokes Blue Angel ride.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NASA Dryden

Last Monday, I stopped by NASA Dryden for a visit. I had 2 friends with me, Dick Clark and John Gamlin. Our NASA friends were as great as always, showing us everything possible. When I was setting up the visit with my old NASA friend at Dryden, Cam Martin, he said that they now had "my" old FA-18 from the Blue Angels ride I had years ago. When we arrived, he said that it had been arranged for me, John and Dick to sit in it which we happily did. I asked him if I could borrow it for a little while. He said no!
Anyway, many thanks to Cam, Winette, and everybody at Dryden for a wonderful time!

Friday, November 13, 2009

C-47 Nose Art

For the last few days I have been painting nose art on the Palm Springs Air Museum's C-47. Matt Voight, who has been in charge of the restoration found a WW II photo of a C-47 with this nose art. Everybody likes Bugs and we aren't aware of this being used on any other restoration so it was an easy decision to use it. I'm using One Shot sign painter's paint. It's a little pricey but it is great paint. I can't wait to see Bugs flying through the air, his ears blowing in the wind.
Yes, that will be Elmer Fudd under the little parachute.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bob Hoover

Another painting that I created for the 2007 San Diego Air and Space Museum's Hall of Fame induction was of R.A. Bob Hoover. He possessed an ability to make airplanes do things that they were never intended to to and do it with breath-taking precision. If you never witnessed one of his displays, go to Youtube and have a look. Find one of the videos that shows what he can do while rolling a Shrike Commander. You will be truly amazed!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Patty Wagstaff

Two years ago, at this moment, I was creating a painting of stellar aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff for the San Diego Air and Space Museum's Hall of Fame. I had crossed paths with Patty before and had seen her perform at many airshows. First hand knowledge of the subject, like I had with Patty, always makes the creation of a painting more personal and drives you to do your best. In the end, she loved the painting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lockheed 12A

Friday afternoon I found myself running outside to see what the radial engines I was hearing were attached to. Low and behold, it was a Lockheed Twin heading over to Thermal for the air show!
Saturday found me face to face with that Lockheed, a model 12A, superbly restored. It was an instant time machine to 1938. I was invited to climb inside. It smelled like a brand new Rolls Royce with lots of new leather and tons of class. Now that's an airplane!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Yogi and Me

Last year at this time, we were returning from the East Coast. I had been commissioned to create a painting honoring Yogi Berra and his service in the Navy. It has the ship he was on in WWII as the center piece, the USS Bayfield. Prints were produced of the painting and arrangements were made to meet up with Mr. Berra to have him sign the prints. This happened a year ago this last weekend.

Yogi Berra turned out to be a great guy! He is exactly the person you would hope he would be. Very down to earth, unassuming and just happy to be here, where ever "here" happens to be. He also really liked the painting and wanted a copy for himself.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Here is a recently completed commission painting for a client who actually owns the Duesenberg! In the background is the Ahwanhnee Hotel at Yosemite.

To properly do the painting, I met up with the owner and car, then spent most of the day finding out what he wanted and photographing the car. I shot around 250 photos of the car and all of its details. Digital cameras are a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blue Angel Ride

While researching the Blue Angels painting for the San Diego Air and Space Museum, I dug out the video of my Blue Angels ride. It was from March, 1992, so the tape was that old. I very cautiously ran the tape the first time while also copying it to disc. It still worked fine! An edited version will be up on my website soon.