Sunday, January 4, 2015

Artist Takes "Wash Me" On Dirty Car Windows To Beautiful New Level

"Hydra And the Nymphs" in dirty
car art, by Scott Wade.  
It's winter.

Which means your car will get covered with road salt and grime and grit and look really ugly. Plus it'll be hard to see out of your dirt smeared window.

On top of that, some obnoxious kid will scrawl "Wash Me" on the dust and dirt covering your rear window.

If only Scott Wade could come to the rescue.


Scott Wade, an artist who uses dirty cars as a canvas to create some beautiful works. Seriously!

It's called Dirty Car Art, and it's a hit.

According to his Web site, Wade, when he was younger was inspired to go beyond the "wash me" cliche on dirty car windows. He lived on a dirt road, so ar windows were usually dusty in hot, dry Texas.  
Portrait of Carl Sandberg in dirty car
art by Scott Wade.  

He experimented with using his fingernails, pads of his fingers, then Popsickle sticks, and brushes to develop the art on dirty car windows.

Of course, the artwork disappears in the next rainstorm, so he photographs his work, waits for the dirt to reappear on the windshields after a rainstorm and starts another painting.

He says:

"The impermanence of this art form is one of the things I really love about it. For one thing, it helps me to not take it too seriously and to really have fun with it. But most important, it reminds me that all of life is transit, that we won't be here all that long, and to reall enjoy the wonder and beauty while  we're here."

Without rain, the dirty car art can last several days, as he says the turbulence of driving along in the wind doesn't seem to affect the drawings too much.

Wade, who is about 54 years old says he has been doing dirty car artwork for pretty much as long as he can remember, but got serious about it about 12 years ago.
And of course we MUST have the dogs
playing cars in dirty car art, too.  

He makes his living as a graphic artist, but he's gotten enough attention that he derives income from his dirty car art through appearances at fairs, carnivals, events, that type of thing.

PR firms, event organizers and ad agencies also hire Wade.

You can scroll through Wade's fantastic image gallery to see what he's done at various events and for various clients.

I'm not the first person to notice Wade. He's been seen in outfits like Maxim magazine and CBS Morning News. He's hoping his growing popularity will turn his car art into a full time gig.

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to six hours to create the art, Wade said.

At events, there's not always dirty cars handy, so he puts a thin sheen of an oil - cooking oil is good -  on a windshield, gets out a blow dryer and blows dust or fine dirt onto a car window. The oil makes the dirt stick, and away he goes.

He says you and I could do the same thing if we're inspired to create car art. Just smear on the cooking oil. If dust isn't available, try whole wheat flour.

And maybe you, too, can make the winter tableau of ugly dirty cars that much more beautiful

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