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Letterfly creates one-of-a-kind pinstripe designs, hand painted visual images and hand lettering to transform motorcycles, hot rods and even naked aircraft into rolling masterpieces that stand out, get noticed and receive nods of approval wherever they go.

About the Artist

      Letterfly creates art the old-fashioned way – by hand with paint. In addition to creating Airbrushed Murals, Gold Leaf Gilding, Wet-Blended Pictorials and Hand-Lettering – all disappearing from the mainstream - Letterfly is in demand as one of the top producers of Old School Pinstriping on the planet. By the way, the tradition of pinstriping goes way back.
      For centuries, teams of gifted carriage and wagon builders established their output as high quality by applying thin, painted stripes over the finished joints. Today, centuries of tradition live on through the artist known as Letterfly, who produces accurate, finishing touches on the most attention-getting motorcycles from Daytona to Sturgis.
      The artist uses skills developed over four decades to transform each biker’s dream into a painted reality. Letterfly is the nom de plume, or brush name, of the artist Dave Knoderer.   His demeanor as a showman with a brush is the result of performing with the circus in his youth.

      Letterfly hits the road every summer. His hand painted pinstriping and mural design services are a perfect fit at the customer-dedicated Harley-Davidson stores he frequents east of the Mississippi. Find out where he is going to be in this informative website, subscribe to stay in the loop of the artist’s activities and contact Letterfly to commission awe-inspiring artwork of your own.  Access to the artist couldn’t be more convenient - all it takes is a road trip.
      During the wintertime, you will find Letterfly at his home/studio/paintshop called ArtPark in Plant City, Florida where over-all paint jobs, fabrication of special projects and the decoration of an endless variety of vehicles, expressions of art, pet portraits, guitars, cake mixers, etc. take place.




      Letterfly teaches the nuance of airbrush painting, pinstriping and gold-leaf processes to the participants of his annual Custom Paint Workshops. Students learn hands-on how to craft letterforms, fanciful designs, realistic pin-up images, how to airbrush a scene of a majestic eagle flying over the snowcapped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the techniques involved with gilding the gold-leaf ornamentation of an old fire engine. During the annual class, Dave promotes the mindset of an artist to promote remarkable results along with disclosing knowledge of techniques developed over many years. 

Custom Paint Workshops

Custom paint workshop
Custom paint workshop



A rigorous, guided, hands-on experience with a professional will catapult the wanna-be pinstriper and custom painter into the realm of hi-profile money making. The myriad aspects of custom paint for vehicles and motorcycles are like pieces of a puzzle and even the professional can learn yet another tid-bit of knowledge and experience to add to his tool kit of tricks and repertoire of techniques.

To ensure that future generations, have access to the accumulated knowledge and experience of his fifty-plus year career, the student or aficionado of custom decorative paint will benefit from the five-day Custom Paint Workshops classes that take place annually during the first week of February at the artist’s home in Florida called ArtPark. All aspects of creating custom output with paint are covered in a masterly fashion with learning aids and hands-on opportunities in the paint shop/studio.

Students benefit not only from the extensive curriculum, the result of decades of creating of traditional hand painted works and for the ongoing opportunity to ask questions as they learn to manipulate paint into delicate designs, become familiar with the recipe and philosophy of combining aspects of color theory, viscosity ideals, and devices that provide special and unusual effects when used in surprising unconventional ways.

No better forum exists to get a leg up on a complete understanding of the mechanics of and the spectrum of; the variety of paints and products, the strategy of design, and the scope of paint manipulation techniques available to the aficionado of custom paint and vehicular decor.

The workshop has been divided into five logical specialties with a day designated to each discipline; attend any day of the subject that interests you, or to optimize your ability, understanding, level of skill and jump start your career, stay for all five consecutive days and learn every aspect of this interesting opportunity for the creative personality.

Classes take place annually at the end of January and the beginning of February. See LetterflyPinstriping.com for this year’s workshop dates or RVSP to Kelly LetterflyArtiste@aol.com 813 752 8063
Any one-day class is $225. The best value being all five classes for $850. Make plans now to participate, add to your repertoire and get launched into the fascinating world of custom paint.

To review the Custom Paint Workshops class syllabus and find out more:
Custom Paint Workshops Class Syllabus

For more information;
      Letterfly also authors “Tales of a Traveling Airbrush,” interesting essays for a bi-weekly email newsletter about his creative, colorful and oftentimes turbulent life on the road that began with the old time big top circus of yesteryear. Dave also contributes articles for Born to Ride magazine along with entertaining content for his blog: LetterflyWrites.com. But there’s more.
      Dave is also a gifted story teller who shares vignettes from his days of performing with horses on the circus, anecdotes from his life as a theatrical, residential and motorhome mural artist and as an automotive and motorcycle pinstriper. As a member of Toastmasters International, he gives inspiring, informative and entertaining talks to aspiring students, civic groups and riding clubs.

The Fast Lane Art Show

      

Borrowing from the momentum experienced by the Guggenheim exhibition “Motorcycles as Art,” a two-man art show featuring more than what the motorcycle culture is noted for, appeared at Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, Virginia in 2014. Featuring not only a colorful variety of hand painted pinstripe design styles the versatile artist Letterfly has a command of but also the “Low-Brow” 50’s & 60’s graffiti images of Andre Wombat. This exhibition went beyond just bikes and included other paintings, panels, illustrations, cartoons, posters and even a circus side show banner that commemorates the versatility of the artists.

The two-day exhibition began with a reception at 4 pm on Saturday. The artist “Letterfly” was present to demonstrate traditional “old school” pinstriping. The delicate nature of the hand painted pinline design is the result of years of practice and developing finesse with the ungainly, specialized brush. The creation of each motif is an exercise in playful meditation where the artist opens himself up to possibilities as each stroke occurs, only to reveal the intention as the last connecting stroke is made.

The collection of hand painted artwork, photographs, posters, signs, cartoons and painted panels with intricate pinline designs showcase the varied and interesting careers of the artists/entertainers. Many designs have electrical qualities with an ever-present energy as the circuitous lines are connected, overlapped, mirrored and finally became ready to contemplate.

Also included in the festivities planned for during the show was the educational and enlightening seminar entitled “Rolling Art,…Why a Mural?” for the benefit of anyone interested in finding out about traditional hand painted artwork, especially from the standpoint of what it can do to enhance the motorcycle experience. Dave discussed the historical aspect of pinstriping and what goes into the creation of the traditional manner of pinstripe designs, the variety of flames that are in abundance today, how a simple hand lettered inscription can communicate a statement, serve to identify a cause or provoke an emotion.

Also included was the discussion of the process of creating a custom image for the bike starting with the interview, when the concept for the idea is explored and the initial sketch is drawn, the image development and the considerations from the numerous manners of painting the bike are selected.  An especially informative portion of the talk involved discussing the steps, materials and components that go into the creation of spectacular custom paint jobs with an opportunity for questions from anyone interested in the technical aspects of this interesting facet of the biker culture.

          Dave Letterfly Knoderer began creating as a child and apprenticed the hand lettering sign painting trade as a teen. A penchant for adventure led him to many interesting projects. Among them; painting theatrical background sets, performing with the circus, antique fire engine restoration, gold leaf gilding, pinstriping and ornamentation, amusement park scenery, entertaining signage, Trompe L’oeil effects for the interior and award-winning store front décor.

          When the computer began to erode the bread-and-butter of the sign painter, Letterfly was in the right place at the right time and mixed lessons learned while traveling with the tented circus as a teen to pursue an itinerate career as a creator of high-quality murals on luxury motor homes for an emerging clientele of RVers across the country.

          One motor coach owner just happened to own a Harley-Davidson dealership and enticed the artist to come and create murals inside and outside at his motorcycle store. This led to traveling to yet other H-D stores to create large murals that enhance the retail environment. While at these job sites it became impossible to avoid requests for delicate pinline designs and custom images of all kinds from the motorcycle enthusiasts that frequented these sites. Today the artist enjoys a seven-month route of customer dedicated Harley-Davidson motorcycle stores nationwide, who enjoy the Letterfly value-added service.

The vast repertoire of the artist is the result of the many changes that have taken place in his interesting career as technology changed the relationship of the artisan who creates by hand. Increasing demand in this specialized niche gave him direction. Truly a renaissance man, the timeless manner of creating a unique design by hand fuels the desire to keep alive this fast-disappearing form of art.



The Letterfly One-Man Show



Available for display are many of the panels originally created and used on the pinstriping road tour as flash, or examples of design options to decorate a motorcycle, as is evidenced by the chips, knicks and scratches that establish their authenticity. As new ideas were developed, old panels were taken down to add to the growing collection of spontaneously created pinline designs. Many designs have electrical qualities with an ever-present energy as the circuitous lines are connected, overlapped, mirrored and finally, with the last stroke, become ready to contemplate.

Other paintings qualify as pure personal expression and are available for display along with a side show banner that commemorates his role on the circus as a teenager playing the bagpipes. Cartoons, antique circus posters from the artists collection, a comic book cover, classic examples of the old-time sign maker and lots of what the motorcycle culture enjoy: inspiring pinstripe designs, round out the inventory.

The artist’s collection of hand painted artwork, photographs, posters, signs, cartoons and painted panels with intricate pinline designs showcase the varied and interesting career of the artist/entertainer and are available for exhibitions

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