Monday, February 15, 2010


This is Hershel "Junior" Conway. He is one of the pioneers of custom car painting, getting his start with George Barris in the 1950s. His mastery of paint finishes has become legendary and owes much of his success to labor intensive hand finishing. His client list is a who's who of car enthusiasts. His work has expanded to complete restoration of classic and exotic cars, including the complex assembly of these hand made cars. We met a few years ago while restoring a Duesenberg. The car won Pebble Beach, the most prestigious classic car event in the world, and we became friends.
I had decided to do a series of paintings of people behind the scenes in vintage car preservation and restoration and Junior is included in the series. I spent a couple days with him shooting pictures and talking about how to best represent him. One of the things he is very proud of is a spiral staircase he painted for a San Franciscan client. The staircase is carbon fiber, designed by Swift Engineering and presented a variety of challenges for him and his crew. Since Junior is already firmly established in the automotive community I thought I'd include the staircase in his portrait. Although it is outside his normal range of interest, his attitude and work ethic delivered another world class finish.
The oil painting is 18" x 24".