Artist Nash Cox captures the timeless beauty of classic automobiles in his detailed watercolor paintings. More of his portfolio can be found on his website.
I understood at a very early age that I was an artist. I was fascinated by the works of the old masters and dreamt of one day being as great as DaVinci. Although I developed my skills by often drawing for hours on end, I didn’t pick up painting until much later in life.
In fact, I never had much use for color. I even preferred black-and-white when I got into photography in my late twenties.
After a truly exhausting attempt at living a normal non-creative life, I plunged back into the art world. The moment I tried watercolor I fell in love with it. Because water is a natural element, I don’t believe a person can ever truly master watercolor.
Instead, I see it as a constantly evolving partnership. I like to say I’m a self-taught artist but the truth is each painting I do teaches me more than I could learn from a class or a book.
Automotive art is my vehicle for self-expression. My fondest childhood memories almost always involve an old car or truck. I still remember the feel of the sun-warmed fenders on my dad’s 1947 Ford pickup as he worked on it in the back yard, and the smell of the upholstery in my mom’s 1949 Plymouth.
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I truly believe old cars are beautiful, especially cars from the thirties, but classic automobiles also remind me of a time when things were simpler. Today, my daily driver is a rusty, but beautiful, 1953 GMC pickup. It has become my signature.
When I find an old vehicle sitting neglected, rusting back into the Earth from which it was formed, I get a strong impression of its past. It’s as if the car has one last chance to tell its story.
One of the reasons I use my own reference photos is to have complete creative control over my paintings. It allows me to familiarize myself with the subject and paint according to my impressions.
Although I could see myself dabbling with other subjects, automotive fine art will remain central to my art career.
I count myself lucky as I am able to take two of my greatest passions—art and vintage automobiles—and turn them into a way of life. Yep, going to car shows is part of my job. I am also lucky that my wife, the real love of my life, supports me on my journey.
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