Auto art from across the ditch popular with truckies
ROCHELLE Thomas' family couldn't have been more shocked when she suddenly announced "I'm going to get some paints and brushes" but now her artworks, particularly the ones featuring trucks, delight people all over the world.
The New Zealand mother, who unfortunately left behind her love for drawing as she grew up, was inspired to pick up a brush again after viewing a particular piece at a Hotrod exhibition.
As she worked at an automotive wreckers and a car yard before that, she had an obvious fascination for cars so she said it was only natural that vehicles would be her subject of choice.
But it wasn't until she painted a Kenworth K200 that her artworks became popular online after being shared on her Facebook page Auto Art by Rochelle.
"After seeing my car paintings a lady asked me if I would paint her partners Kenworth K200," he tells Big Rigs.
"I was rather excited about painting a truck and she was so happy with the completed artwork. I decided to share on some Facebook truck pages and it got a huge response.
"From there I got another order, then another and so one. Then I started getting invites to truck shows and generate interest with my displays. I have a four to five month long waiting list for my truck art."
She said she had a huge respect for truck drivers and the hours they spent getting "our needs" from A to B.
She said she felt for drivers who spent time away from their families and the pressure that could put on them.
While Rochelle resides in Taurangain New Zealand, her artworks are popular all over the world, especially in Australia.
She said she's send 60 truck paintings to Australia and also has a few on order. But she's also just sent her first artwork to Mississippi in the United States.
Rochelle said each painting took anywhere between 20 to 40 hours depending on size and detail.
She said she worked from customers supplied photographs, sometime creating replicas or using her imagination to create her own spin on the truck.
"I have spent the last couple of years working on my chrome/reflection work and I absolutely love getting that shine just right," she said.
"I was lucky enough to come across a truck driver, Matt Howarth from Murramburrah in New South Wales who takes some amazing photos and he gave me permission to use his photos for a series I did for the NZ Artshow 2017."
She said she loved the challenge of painting each truck.
"Every time I think I've painted the coolest rig ever I get blown away with another. Most of all I love the joy and excitement my art brings to my customers. You sure can't beat the feel good vibes that come with making someone's day.
You can find out more about Rochelle or see more of her artwork at https://www.facebook.com/autoartbyrochelle/.