Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Start of Gavin Military Art, Design Support

Paul at four years old holding a model airplane.  His future trademark Ford F1 Pickup is behind him.
Paul at four years old holding a model airplane.
His future trademark Ford F1 Pickup is behind him. 
Many have asked how we started supporting the military with our work.  It actually began before I was 3.  We lived in Sacramento near the flight path of civilian and military airports. Trying to draw airplanes flying overhead I still remember actually seeing a B36 and thinking how huge it was.

In 1957 we moved to OC.  I was four and what an “aircraft bonanza” it was!  We lived near both the Marine Corps Air Stations Tustin and El Toro.  MCAS Tustin, the Blimp Hangars (also know as LTA  - Lighter Than Air) was the Marine Corp's helicopter base, and MCAS El Toro was the fixed wing base.  I drew planes and helicopters for years.  Our neighbors were Marine Corps families.  There was an awareness of the Vietnam War that became clearer the older I got.  So did how poorly veterans were treated during and after the war. 

I loved the huge Blimp Hangars.  While painting Orange County landscapes in the late 1970's they and MCAS El Toro were prominent in the orchards and fields of the Irvine Ranch.  This led to paintings of the bases and supporting the Marines and events of MCAS Tustin, then the MCAS El Toro Air Shows and then military events across the country.   

Kimberleigh also grew up in Tustin with Marine Corps families and when we married in 1993 she joined me in doing art to support the military.  I married a girl that not only understood and supported the military but also one that drew airplanes and very well!

Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin - The Blimp Hangars - LTA - 1988
Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin - The Blimp Hangars - LTA - 1988
Did you ever go to the El Toro Air Show?  Did you know that it was the largest and most attended Military Air Show in the Country?  Do you miss it?  If so the Marines moved south and the MCAS Miramar Air Show happens in October each year.  (We also do that event design.)  Interested?  Check the official Miramar Air Show web site.