In tandem with my larger oil painting, I am working on a series of black and white charcoal drawings depicting the great racers of all time. The first of these is almost complete and should be up on the website very shortly. The photo shows you a brief preview of ‘Mike Hailwood’ in progress.
What an astonishing man ‘Mike the Bike’ was…! World championships coming out of his ears, TT wins virtually every time he set foot on the island, successful (4 wheeled) Grand Prix driver, life saver, and all round hero. All that and then his life ended driving his daughter to a chip shop…?, tragic does not begin to do the thing justice.
If you get the chance, watch the clip of his funeral on Youtube.
The men carrying his coffin tell you everything you need to know – fellow TT hero Jeff Duke, the legend that is Agostini, GP driver and Le Mans winner Richard Attwood, and the guy at the back….? That will have been his great mate and fellow party animal, a certain James Hunt.
Whilst I feel privileged to be around now amongst the modern racing heroes - Rossi and Marquez still have me on the edge of my seat each time they race. However if they ever invented time travel I’d be straight back to the 1962 TT to see Hailwood’s legendary winning return to the island on the Ducati.
Reading his book has made my picture feel a lot more personal to me. How does the famous quote go; “… others ride, Mike flies…”
I’m planning a complete series in charcoals and I think “Ago” has to be next.