CUSTOMS by KEITH WEESNER
The Custom Car and Hot Rod world Keith Weesner creates in his paintings and black and white artwork is as close to perfection as it can get.
Keith Weesner is a profesional full time artist from Thousand Oaks, California. He creates beautiful paintings of Hot Rods, Custom Cars, Race Cars and fantasy girls all embedded in a surrealistic world. Keith artwork for T-shirts is highly demanded and he works for clients all over the world. He travels all over the globe from all states in the US, to Scandinavia, Japan and Australia making new friends and selling his art at car shows. Keith passion for early style Custom Cars and Hot Rods is evident in his work, time to put the spotlight on some of the wonderful Custom Car art Keith has created over the years.
By Keith Weesner
Custom Cars and Hot Rods have always been a central interest in my life from a very young age. There were pictures of Ayala and Barris Mercs on my Dad’s walls and Big bopper, Elvis and Buddy Holly 45’s on my toy record player, even though I was born in ’68. Hot Rods were sort of an arrangement of mechanical parts of which I had no practical knowledge, Custom Cars on the other hand, were pure art! As a young artist I knew what a ’40 DeLuxe was and a ’50 Merc… I did a finger painting in kindergarten and announced to the teacher that it was a “purple ’49 Ford”. So I’ve always had a knack for drawing customs and having my own slant on what a chopped top should look like, informed by the Barrises, and the Ayalas and Winfield.
By Rik Hoving
I cannot remember when I first saw Keith’s artwork, it might have been in the 1990’s Custom Rodder Magazine, or perhaps Rod & Custom. I knew about Keith and the Chopper’s car club from Burbanks Ca. The cars these guys were building back then were magical, like a step back in time. I fell in love with Keith’s 1949 Ford Shoebox that was build by Scott Guildner and keith himself. The car was the perfect combination between the Ayala and Barris customs from the early 1950’s and the slight cartoonish paint style Keith had developed over the years. His Shoebox really was like one of his paintings had come to life.
As you can read in the introduction by Keith he was very much inspired by the famous California Custom Car builders from the 1940’s and 1950’s. And it shows in his artwork. The perfect combination of styles borrowed from the Ayala’s and Barris brothers. Perhaps even perfected from what these guys could do back in time, simply because on paper/canvas/wood anything is possible. But Keith always makes his creations look like they have really happened, like they were actually parked outside his studio and he drew them right there.
When you look at Keith artwork, and especially his color paintings it is almost like you are drawn into this perfect Custom and Hot Rod world like how it is in your dream. Or perhaps how it used to be. I was born in 1967, so I have never experienced this time in real life myself. However listening to all the great stories told by the people who had been there, reading the stories in the magazines and books, and looking over thousands of photos gave me an impression on which I created the perfect Custom Car and Hot Rod world… And exactly that is how Keith Weesner visualizes this world in his paintings.
“How do I do a certain color paint job? Find a photo of a car that color (in the lighting that you want) and see what the paint does at different angles on the car, how it’s affected by sky and ground tones, etc.”
Detail from “Red Room” showing headlight treatment inspired by the Bob Dofflow ’49Ford used on a ’52-54 Ford.
Black & White
’39 Mercury Coupe
T-Shirt & Hoodie art
Keith Weesner is a full time artist, and one of the products he offers are his own line of T-Shirts, but he also creates Custom T-Shirt art for third parties. Over the years he has created several designs for the Rodder’s Journal shirts, including the special Revival car show shirts. Many car clubs from around the world find their way to Keith his studio for some unique designs for their special show shirts and hoodies.
Over the years Keith has created several futuristic vehicles, Jetson like flying Custom Speeders, and out of this world show cars. This article did not have enough space to cover those here as well… perhaps they will appear in a future article on Keith. There is one futuristic painting that I wanted to include here “Hauler”. A futuristic pick-up inspired by the Alexander Brothers “Deora” combined with the space age illustration style from the late 1950’s.
For more information about Keith Weesner Artwork, the Art and other product he is selling, and how he can be hired for commission work check out the Keith Weesner Website, or his Bigcartel selling prints website. You can also follow Keith on Instagram (@weesner1958 instagram) to keep up to date with his latest art.
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