The Art Of Motorcycling, With Chris White

Posted 4 years ago

The quest or journey to self discovery has its ups and downs.

The Bushido philosophy suggests that we look forward to the end of our current life with open eyes. This allows us to meditate on the moment and strive to live mindful and fulfilled lives, focussing on our strengths and areas for development.

As an art tutor for 15 years, it was my duty-of-care to encourage and guide students to find there own vernacular. Some of them would look under tables and in cupboards to find this, I know I did many years prior when asked the same question by my tutor. The answer lies in us all finding our pasions in life and developing them. Art is a platform for self expression, in my opinion, and the only person who can illustrate that is you.

Making the falling-down part of the dance takes time and encouragement. Sometimes, we crave validation from people who, in hindsight, end up being the wrong navigators by giving us maps that are not true. But they convince us that their maps are the only ones. Make your own map based on your experience, also being mindful that corrections need to be made during passage.

Due to the stresses and strains of higher education, and the political minefields that cause enthusiatic lecturers and fascilitators of critical thinking and analysis to go slowly mad over time, I imploded. A mental breakdown became a mental breakthrough. The only thing I regret about having to resign formal art education was leaving the students behind. The dialogue I had with each student and year group was so energising, but I had to jump over-board for my own self respect. Gone but not forgotten, the sharks were in the boat and not the sea I would dive into!

It took 2 years for me to metaphorically land on the beach, and then make my way to a place that I felt was secure enough to evalaute and start to love myself again. That’s a tough ask, and 4 years on from the mutiny I am now in a place that I feel more alive than ever.

Find what you love in life. This will take time and you will be scared about the future, buit it is the now that is most important. Take your time in understanding the present. Be scared, but remember that this is as valid a feeling as is blissfulness. I don't want to sound patronising and if I do I apologise! The manifesto that I wrote for myself was hard to do but it was worth it. If only for a moment!

Painting machines in motion fulfils a criteria that represents everything about life to me. The craftsmanship and artistry that goes into conceptualising, developing, testing, building and scrutinising these metalworks is a metaphor for life. I paint the builds to represent the character of each individual motorcycle. Every build is unique and has its own personality - and very much like people, a product of the earth.

Max Hazan was the first builder that I approached with regard to feedback about my work. I painted one of his builds on plywood and when he received it, I was energised by his comments. I did have a plan B that if he didnt like the artwork he could use the plywood to cover a broken window in his workshop. As if Max would have a broken window in his workshop! I need to be realistic enough, that not everyone will appreciate my work and evaluate any improvements based on feedback that I can learn from. I know my gift for painting comes from within, and that my outcomes are rich in meaning. But each outcome is derived from the individual build. As with a student who has individual needs to their peers.

Max Hazan was once testing his own skill set, and sailed into the wind with a craft that he had manufactured, not positively sure that his ideas would resonate. He supported me wholeheartedly with his understanding of the position I was in as a “new painter on the block”. Thank you Max, for loving what I do and putting my work on his map for others to see!

The maps now become more navigable because they have been drawn up by true people with moral compasses that would secure safe passage from one port to another, for anyone willing to quest enlightenment by follwing their passion. If you put passion and risk into what you do, then you can be in that moment and achieve. I want to be the best motorcycle artist in the world! Im not afraid to say that. All I have to do is continue to create paintings that reflect my love for life and self improvement

Bobby Haas is a star that I also look to with assured faith and truthfulness. The Haas Moto Museum is a sacred space that supports and champions the mantra of passion and self-beleif in the creations made from hard work, determination, addiction to “on point” and staying true to vernacular. I feel blessed that we are on the same frequency and this can only fuel my internal engine to ensure all my parts work prior to each road trip

Craig Rodsmith, Michael Ulman, Jerry Cupp, Marc Parker, Eric Black and John Klomp oscilate on the same frequency as I. Truly blessed am I to be on the same ocean, jiving along with meaning. Each in a different vessel, built to withstand elements - good and bad. And best yet, no sharks on board!

Being part of The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride is meaningful in so many ways. Celebrating life, learning to love yourself, advanced map making, and not being afraid to fall off the metaphorical motorcycle that is experience.

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