Archive | 20:55

Drawings For A Dead Biker

29 May

There’s an odd little church nearby for born-again-bikers; the pastor and church members are outlaw bikers who have converted to Christianity and today they held a funeral for one of their members. There were hundreds of motorbikes, some really gorgeous ones – Triumphs, Harleys, a few vintage and everyone turned up in full colours as a mark of respect. They were from all over the place and were not just the Christian bikers [whose colours bear the logo ‘God Squad’]. It was a great scribbling opportunity and as I was sketching it took me back to my own wild youth, I was a biker chick and rode several BSAs and a Triumph. The occasion reminded me of two of my old biker friends who died from tragic accidents, ironically not involving motorbikes, when they were in their twenties. It’s over two decades ago now but today’s funeral brought the grief back very suddenly and sharply. When people die, we struggle on and gradually the grief fades into the background, but never really goes away, waiting to be activated by something, like it was earlier.

I don’t know the biker whose funeral it was today – someone said his name was Baz – his friends did him proud. It was a fantastic turnout; the streets around were full and the police held up the traffic so the hearse could be accompanied by an unbroken convoy of hundreds of motorbikes. My friend, neighbour and fellow artist, Mel, posted photos of the cortege on Facebook here. It was good discipline for me to sketch a crowd, I normally work with single figures so I need to practice putting people together, getting the perspective and proportions right. I also rarely draw inanimate objects, so doing the bikes was a challenge – how do designers cope with it? Their brains, and patience, must be phenomenal!

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