Article By: Amelia “Killer” Rose
Originally Published In The March 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
For Lyndell Wolff, art was never something he thought about, but something he just did. There was never an epiphany to create or something that lit the spark; it was just there. The desire to create and find a way to participate in the world around him. It was something he was able to do and learn about himself without needing any sort of group or team involved and he could indulge whenever and for as long as he felt necessary. It was perfect for him.
Growing up just east of East Los Angeles, in a lower workingclass neighborhood, two things were very real. Car culture and Bikers, you were defined by what you drove or rode. So, it’s safe to say that he has been in the custom bike world from the start. The summer after graduating high school, he landed a gig working as a woodcarver at a craft village at the local amusement park. That fall he started college but after an overseas trip to France working as a woodcarver/ craftsman, he dropped out at the end of the year once he realized it wasn’t really meant for him. Within a few years, he had finally purchased his first Harley (a ‘48 Pan, no less) and formed a business partnership with a master craftsman building everything from custom furniture and prototypes to different kinds of artwork. After the sudden death of his business partner, he grew tired of the struggles working as a small business owner and decided to become a member of the Local 44 IATSE as a Prop Maker on films in 1990. Working on films afforded him the luxury of being able to take as much time as he wanted in-between various film projects and be able to pursue more of his own artistic endeavors.
After working in film for almost 30 years, with over 50+ motion picture credits, Lyndell decided to make his art a full-time career back in 2016 and has been working as a studio artist ever since. For his inspiration, he likes to use the history of the motorcycle. He has an overwhelming number of files and folders filled with various information and images on bikes that he keeps as fuel for his inspiration. Despite growing up in the world of custom motorcycles, what really drew Lyndell towards it was the feeling you get from being a part of it. The independent, care-free lifestyle that also came with a certain level of respect and integrity drew him in and he’s been hooked ever since.
To create these amazing pieces you see, Lyndell prefers to use a classic acrylic due to its general workability and quick drying time. For some of the wood carving he does on the side, he likes to use a Black Walnut or Jelutong wood. It’s incredible to think that only 4 years ago was when Lyndell first began seriously producing his hyper-realistic motorcycle paintings. Within just a year, he had completed seven of them and was on the hunt for a venue that would display them. Creating art has been an incredible journey for him and he is still unable to truly fathom the impact his work has on others. His plans for the future are fairly straightforward; keep moving forward and creating art. He has been working recently on how to better segment his time so that he is able to work more comfortably and productively. He also is working on upping his social media presence and has noticed that WIP shots and progressive GIFs tend to grab the most attention. He has also been working on creating prints and monograph sets of his paintings and hopes that in the future he will be able to produce and sell both of those things, along with his original pieces
As for what sets him apart from the other artists in our industry, Lyndell believes it’s his incredible attention to detail. When you look at one of his paintings, they are 100% mechanically accurate, down to the scaled proportions. For instance, if you scaled a ? inch bolt from one of his paintings, it would be proportionally correct to the rest of the image. He also strives for that same attention to detail in the colors of his paintings. It’s not enough for the viewer to be able to identify a part as being made of metal, he wants them to be able to tell whether or not the piece is aluminum or steel, or if the steel has been tempered or case hardened, all with the color he uses. His goal with this is not just to create paintings of motorcycles, but to tell the story of that specific bike, to be the visual representation of the joy and freedom that being on a motorcycle gives someone. If you’d like to check out more of Lyndell’s incredible artwork or purchase a piece for yourself, you can head on over to his website, www.ldwolff.com, or on his various social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, just search for Lyndell Wolff). Thanks for reading, till next time. Killer