Week 3: Harley-Davidson Eagle


The bird had taken over the garage until the project was done. This is eagle #3 for me and I have to thank Steve once again for his patience although there have been many (BIG) art projects that he has seen come and go over time.


Now I needed to jump start this project and stop the mental lingering over details. What I heard in the conversation with Mr. T as I replayed our last meeting over and over are key points to paint towards the completion of the bird and the only color choices that he decided would work. The rock base would reflect the Granite State. 


One person’s rock description is another person’s interpretation of that description. It may sound like a simple thing – paint it to look like granite with flicks to resemble that of stone. You know? I know what I should know so back to Hobby Lobby I went to seek this unknown paint, if there was one. I was surprised to find a huge selection of spray paint and found one; Krylon course textured black granite. Maybe this will be a new foray for me into the spray paint world in that which many artists seem to have great success?

How do I paint only the rock that is attached to a base where the eagle is perched? Painters blue tape. So I spent about an hour carefully taping each of the eagle’s individual claws, around the legs and the edge of where the rock meets the base. Then I took several trash bags and carefully wrapped the rest of the eagle and covered the base. We set up a fan to carefully blow any residue out the garage. But before that the vehicles were moved as to not be in the direction of any spray flow. I put on grubby clothes and donned a pair of gloves. I had no idea how this would adhere but just started spraying. I knew it was a one shot deal with a calm arm since I couldn’t afford the textured paint to drip. I’m happy to report that all my planning paid off and this part turned out pretty good!



Now it needed to dry. The weather stayed a bit more humid so I knew it would need the entire day to dry. Now I had time to figure out another piece to the puzzle that would need my undivided attention.


Since Mr. T and I decided the bird would wear a Harley vest I needed to figure out how to do this and make it fit on something with a huge wing span. He gave me two vests to cut if need be in order to figure what works. This would be unlike anything I had ever attempted – a vest for a sculpture. I am thankful that I have many years under my belt in sewing by hand, quilting, and machine stitching. First, before any cut was made, my practical side said to undo all the stitching, which I did. Using a seam ripper I undid the sides and bottom. Then I wrapped it over the bird and taped it up to a level I thought would work. For days I left it like that just to get a sense of what the final outcome would be. It was an expensive item and I needed to be sure before I cut anything.


Back to the bird. I found a metallic gold paint at Hobby Lobby and used it for my first attempt on the body of the eagle. It was not exactly the color of the Harley eagle patch I had but Mr. T wanted it to be gold. One coat didn’t cover and as it dried I doubted my choice. Do your best and forget the rest. I needed to think this way as the frustration was starting to interfere with everything I was doing.

To read the first week of the new eagle project, read The Eagle has Landed – Again!
To read the second week of the new eagle project, read The Eagle has Landed – Again: Week 2

The eagles for this project were manufactured by Icon Poly, a family owned company based in central Nebraska. Icon Poly started as a hobby of sculpting, sculpture point-up, and making fiberglass animals and sculptures by hand. In 1999, the company formed and began computerized sculpting, 3-D foam milling, laser digital sculpture enlargement, and a manufacturing process that accurately duplicates the likeness of sports and corporate mascots, make sophisticated trade show displays, and make multiple 3-D copies of a single design of paintable fiberglass sculptures for community art projects. With customer service and client satisfaction as top priorities, the company can bring even the simplest sketch or idea to reality using state of the art technology and the highest quality, environmentally friendly materials available. For more about Icon Poly, visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about Veterans Count, visit their website. To learn more about Debbie Curtin and her projects, click here.