Anna Louise Felstead has been painting cars and people for years, but then a gentleman (?) commisioned a painting of his Aston Martin – set in a bondage theme. After her initial disbelief, this order began the amusing series of ”Naugthy Car Paintings”.

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I discovered this series of pictures when a reader posted one of them one the ViaRETRO Facebook page (it was probably on a Friday, traditionally the day of scantily clad ladies on ViaRETRO – and the picture was the one to the right), and I became enthralled by its expression: Humor, eroticism and some undertones that could only be English. Surprised by the fact that the artist was a woman I called her to hear more: 

 

Anna-Louise Felstead graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2003 and has since worked as a reportage artist – an illustrator who draws and paints on location. After living and working out of New York she has quite recently moved back to England, but her work has taken her all over the world.

The scenes she has painted have mostly been of a type only covered by photographers, although her style is not at all photorealistic. Cartoonlike, naïve, or simply charming would decribe it better. On first look the work of Anna-Louise Felstead is very varied and only later does it emerge that most paintings really focus on people in certain environments, not the environment itself.

Example 1: People in environments - here Café Nero in London

Example 1: People in environments – here Café Nero in London

The same goes for the car work, a rather recent addition to her field of work: In 2008 she covered the Monaco Grand Prix Historique, and – as readers here on ViaRETRO wil be well aware – this scene has very much to offer in terms of people in environments. Very quickly the Anna-Louise Felstead-style got popular and she started doing commission works, paintings owner’s cars and then covering a wide range of vintage and sports cars.

Example 2: People in environments. AND the definition of the term "reportage artist"

Example 2: People in environments. AND the definition of the term “reportage artist”

The Aston Martin Bondage was the first of the naughty ones, though: That was in 2010 and again it was a commission work for a customer – this one with a particularly vivid imagination. True to the topic (!) Anna-Louise Felstead did what the customer wanted and as can be seen it turned out rather more spectacular than the Vantage (yes, it is a Vantage, as there is no such thing as an Aston Martin Bondage) alone would have been. As she posted this piece on her Facebook page things really took of and the ”Naughty”-niche carved itself out.

I am most impressed about the span of cars featured in the series – I mean, when do you see an Anadol in company with an AC Cobra, both of them covered with scantily clad women? In fact, when do you see an Anadol with scantily clad women at all. Many other paintings depict cars more naturally assumed to this, I’d say, and for example the Jaguar E-type features several times – and this combination of curves with curves seems very well suited to the old Brit. The car, that is.

Anna-Louise Felstead feels this fine match is no coincidence as many classic cars are simply more voluptuous than contemporary cars. She likes to draw her women the same way, just by coincidence – though one client felt she went too far (or is that too wide?) and had her decrease a women’s bottom. Maybe it made his car seem small? Anyway, when working with commisions the most important thing is what the customer wants.

Her personal taste regarding cars is more towards prewar with their fascinating bulging headlights and exposed machinery, but she will in fact paint anything the customer wants. No wonder, when one customer’s peculiar wish turned out to be a business niche in itself! Anna-Louise Felstead feels that the ”Naughty”-series after these few years is drawing to an end though – but she IS still taking orders, just for you naughty ones out there.

Of course I had to ask her about her own car. But she does not own one at all, having just moved from New York where one is neither necessary nor desirable from practical terms. But now she is back in England, so maybe? She did reveal that her favourite painting from the series is ”Yellow Banana”, featuring (besides a handful of particularly welldrawn women, all eating bananas, for God’s sake!) a Jaguar E-type Fixed Head Coupé. With its large hatchback the Jaguar seems a good choice for an artist anyway.

ViaRETRO wishes Anna-Louise Felstead good luck in finding one – though she might have to paint it yellow herself.

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ViaRETRO bonus information: Unlike most of Anna-Louise Felsteads other work the ”Naughty Car Paintings” are not depicting a real scenery – that is, of real women on a real car. It is all happening in her imagination and tranferred to the canvas only. So don’t be too disappointed when you meet her somewhere on the racing car circuit with no naked women around.

See more of Anna-Louise Felsteads work on her website hére.

About The Author

Claus Ebberfeld

Broad car taste. Prefer them working, though. Coupés, estates, racing cars - and so on. Origin less important, but I love Italy. And Britain. Germany. And so on. By the way, I believe everything was better in the old days. Except the internet. Claus' keeper is a 1978 Reliant Scimitar GTE. As a true Scandinavian of course he also has a Volvo - a 445 of the 1956 vintage.

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