About Us...

Art Of Motoring

ART of MOTORING is the home of paintings and prints by well known English artist Roy Barrett.

Roy Barrett

Motorcycle and Transport Artist.

Born in 1949 in Birmingham (the home of the British Motorcycle Industry) Roy was encouraged by his parents and family, when his talent with pencil and paints became apparent.
Roy’s Father was a keen motorcyclist, and also helped to develop in Roy a fascination for mechanics, and for working with tools.
Roy’s talent for drawing was also encouraged at school, resulting in him attending Art college where he studied Design. After graduating from Art college, Roy worked for a number of years as an Architect before joining BBC Television as one of the Design Department. Where over the next 20 years he was to work on Drama productions, including ‘All Creatures Great and Small’, ‘Howards Way’ and many others. Whilst with the BBC Roy continued to practice his skills with the paintbrush, but purely as a hobby pastime.

During these years his interest in cars and motorcycles filled his spare time restoring a Riley and a Sunbeam.
The move from moving images in television to painting came about when the BBC were looking to reduce staff, and seeing an opportunity to change his lifestyle, Roy took redundancy from the Corporation, bought a cottage in Devon with his wife Sandy, and decided to take a belated ‘gap year’ in order to hone his techniques and skills with the paintbrush.
Having spent many years riding and tinkering with bikes, it was only now that the idea of painting pictures of motorcycles occurred to him, following a friends request to make a commission painting of a Harley. Roy’s style is difficult to label for what on first inspection appears to be finely observed and rendered fine detail, on closer inspection has a impressionistic approach in his ability to create the illusion of technical precision by using small brush strokes and blocks of colour to represent mechanical details. Roy’s very individual approach to the subject is heavily influenced by the advertising images used by the Motorcycle manufacturers in their brochure and posters of the 1950’s and 1960’s. His colours are often selected to bring a feeling of nostalgia, for the good times of past.

Roy uses photographic reference of Bikes during the making of his paintings, in order to obtain accuracy in the finer mechanical detail of a particular machine, but his main objective is to create a believable impression of a machine’s character.
The selection of a particular machine to be included in one of Roy’s paintings, is based purely on his own perception of mechanical beauty.

Roys motorcycle work is usually produced using watercolour paints, a particularly difficult medium used on a difficult subject, there is nothing like making life tough for yourself. Over the last 20 years Roy’s nostalgic and atmospheric paintings of classic motorcycles have created a huge amount of interest from bike enthusiasts worldwide. And his earlier limited edition prints are becoming highly sought after. His current range of prints and some originals came be seen on his website

Roy’s ability to capture the nostalgia and feeling of past-times has fascinated many and for some helped to re-kindle fond memories. One Gentleman in particular was fascinated by the work, in particular a painting of a Sunbeam S7 whose registration number he recognised as being that of the bike owned by his father, Roy was able to put the Gentleman in touch with the current owner of the machine, which resulted in the Gentleman being able to buy back his fathers old bike. Another chap bought a painting which featured a Harley V Rod, his wife was so thrilled with the bike in the painting, the chap ended up buying the real thing, to go with the painting.


The Future

Roy is currently working on a number of new pictures and new ideas and includes Steam Engines.  If you are interested in ordering your limited edition numbered print please contact us or visit the new pics gallery and order online.

Still exhibiting at major motorcycle shows Roy continues to produce unique paintings of classic motorcycles that are collected throughout the world