Over the months, we have often brought you profiles on various local artists. Artists who use watercolours or oils, artists who paint wildlife or portraits. This month we look at somebody a little bit different, Gary Timms who creates incredibly realistic looking images of motorcycles and racers using an airbrush.
Born in Leeds, Gary enjoyed art from a young age, often drawing and painting. He attended Garforth Comprehensive School and says “Art was the only thing I was good at really.” At 12 years old he was taken to the Isle of Man by his father to watch the famous TT motorcycle racing. This was the start of Gary’s life-long passion for motorcycle racing, and he even took up racing himself for a while. He was constantly drawing and painting motorcycles, with most of them going to his dad. Gary says “my Dad is probably my best collector – although he does get them for free!”
Eventually, Gary began experimenting with an airbrush, mainly creating art t-shirts. It never crossed his mind to use an airbrush for his fine art work until he saw Marissa Oosterlee’s work. Marissa is a master of photo-realistic airbrush art and Gary attended one of her workshops in 2011. He realised he could try the techniques she taught him in his own art, and since his first attempt – a painting of Carl Fogarty, he has never looked back!
Today, Gary paints using his airbrush and utilising bits of card, sponges and even scraps of old clothing to mask areas of the painting, the results are amazing. Each painting takes around 150-200 hours to complete, with any lettering being the most crucial aspect to get as accurate as possible. He says “it is very important to get the lettering right. This can be tricky and is time consuming, but the motorcycle fans notice if it’s not right.”
He often bases his work around photographs that have been taken at events, and works in conjunction with several photographers. His next project is to paint the 2014 award winning Bridgestone photograph of Rossi and Lorenzo doing a wheelie. Gary is aiming to have this finished before the MotoGP at Silverstone later this year.
Gary attends all the major motorbike events around the country to sell his work. He has meetings arranged with some of the top motorcycle racing teams in order to discuss creating some corporate art for them and this is something he would love to get involved with more in the future. Gary dreams as all artists do of being able to earn a full-time living from art. He would also love to travel more to the European events.
Although motorcycles are Gary’s main passion and inspiration, he also paints portraits of people and pets, and private commissions such as one for the Royal Engineers, and one for a Super League Rugby player.
With such an incredible talent and clear passion for his work, Gary is sure to realise his dreams!
For more information visit his website: