W.R. Rocky Ferris Autoscape Photorealism Art

Rocky Ferris Roxy Drive in

rocky ferris roxy drive-in 3

rocky Ferris roxy drive-in 2

This graphic interpretation of a quintessential shark fin and dual bullet tail light of a ’59 Cadillac captures the essence of this classic GM design. The refined lines of the Caddy are juxtaposed with a cozy couple in their Chevy at the Roxy Brown Lantern Drive-In. W.R. (Rocky) Ferris celebrates his early talent and passion in this screen printed image, number 25 or 58, printed in 1978, with applied water color, and white Conte’ crayon.

rocky ferris 59 corvette 1

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rocky ferris 59 corvette

This idyllic image is titled “59 Vette.” It is a W.R. Ferris screen printed image, number 28 of 70, with applied water color, and white Conte’ crayon. It depicts a scene common to many households, particularly during those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” We washed and waxed the car by hand, of course, collectors still eschew any other methods. My fourth grade teacher had a ’59 Corvette just like this, a gift from her father upon her graduation from college. The details of the checkered flag are even noted in this nostalgic, photorealistic homage to the past and the car of your dreams.

rocky ferris 54 corvette

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rocky ferris 54 corvette 2

This image is titled “1954 Corvette.” It is a screen printed image, number 2 of 97, with applied water color, and white Conte’ crayon. It depicts a view from the buyer’s perspective of the steering wheel, dashboard, and surrounding cars on a car lot. The artist attends with passion, graphically, to the infinite details of the industrial design including the speedometer, the tachometer, oil pressure gauge, … A ‘ vette enthusiast will feel like they are in the driver’s seat.

rocky ferris kissimmee

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Back in the day, fuel stations dispensed not only gasoline but service “with a smile.” Gasoline, including Texaco, at this service station was pumped, oil levels were checked, windshields were wiped, self-service was not even a concept in consideration. The artist who at the time spent winters in Marathon, Florida, illustrated this open bay garage located in Kissimmee. The perfect backdrop for a period film shoot. The details in both the classic vintage cars, as well as the scenic landscape are fine examples of photorealistic style. The image is not dated formally, however, if one looks closely, the artist uses the date of completion in the license plate: 31678. It is a W.R. (Rocky) Ferris screen printed image, from 1978, number 27 of 53, with applied water color, and white Conte’ crayon.

rocky ferris artist description

This and three other hand tinted prints by Walter Rockford Ferris, aka Rocky Ferris, were purchased in the summer of 1978 at the Ann Arbor, Michigan Arts Festival. They have been displayed in one residence or another in the family since that time. We disassembled this and the other pieces to clean, photograph, and replace the acid free backer, prior to listing in its original metal, period 70s frame.

“Walter is one of those unusual person who has combined all phases of his life to make them work for him and he expresses them within his work. He is an artist and always has been.
It was his childhood goal. His appreciation for quality, design, and presentation was introduced in his youth in New England. His preoccupation with autos began in his teens and was rekindled with his first antique auction ten years later. At 30, Walter changed his occupation from commercial artists to fine artist and started drawing what he loved… autoscapes.
It is the individuality of the most commonplace, especially during the 30s, 40s, 50s, that has inspired him to recreate this mood. He has exhibited in numerous national shows, lives in Florida in winter, Michigan in summer, and drives a Plymouth Woody.”

His work is in private, corporate, and public collections. He has received numerous commissions, and prestigious awards at art festivals.

His individual style has evolved over the years he describes as “many lives.” Living on a boat and creating miniatures for years, then back on land with a studio, he describes his work as “Tropical Surrealism.” He no longer paints simply photorealistic images, he makes “the normal seem abnormal and abnormal seem normal… surrealism.” A member and an instructor at the Key West Art Center, Key West, Florida, as of 2006. Discovered through numerous sites and links, he may be quoted as stating that “photorealistic images of which are not real or present and come from my mind are what make me feel truly creative.”

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Vintage Medical Quackery Renulife Violet Ray Health Generator Model H

Renulife Violet Ray Health Generator Model H
Vintage Medical Quackery Renulife Violet Ray Health Generator Model H and Carrying Case with Extra Tonsil and Eyeball Tubes.

The Renulife Electric Company based in Detroit, Michigan designed and manufactured a complete line of Renulife Health Generators and Argon (inert) gas filled tubes with stimulating electrodes. Renulife High Frequency (Violet Ray) Health Generators claimed to adapt high frequency current for use in treating human disease and conditions. The Renulife generators cord plugged into and operated on normal 110 volt house current allowing not only professionally supervised use but patient performed home use.The Model H sold for $12.50 in its grain leatherette built in carrying case. The case contained not only the general body electrode (#1) but the saturation electrode (#3), as well as the low voltage transformer which generated the low voltage current; adjusted with the turn of a knob. The vintage Renulife line is now viewed as a highly collectible piece of medical quackery and folk lore. This unit has all original glass parts still function as manufactured. However, the cord on this unit should be re-wired to use this unit safely, it is frayed.

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Vintage Detroit Free Press Newspaper Apron

Detroit Free Press Newspaper Apron

Breaking News! “On Guard for 182 Years! This handsome Detroit Free Press newspaper apron is a reminder of the not so distant past when our news not only developed more slowly but was delivered not through the ether but to one’s door or sold at the news stand or street corner. Often referred to as the “Freep,” this is an authentic, gently used apron. The pockets would contain and exchange change for the daily paper. Are you from Detroit? Have ties to the paper and what it symbolizes? Are you a blogger who appreciates the history of the craft? These original aprons are yet one more genre of collectible. This one celebrates the Detroit Free Press not only the newspaper’s role as a social, cultural, and political institution but an iconic historic institution.

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Vintage Medical Quackery Renulife Violet Ray Health Generator

Renulife Violet Ray Health Generator

Our interest in not only alternative medicine but a strange, folkloric product based on a gas filled tube with a current generating device caught our attention.The “Violet Ray” is actually Argon gas commonly used in the creation of “neon” signage. Inert, the Argon gas’s molecules are being stimulated by the low voltage current of the generator (transformer) housed inside the case. Renulife High Frequency (Violet Ray) Health Generators claimed to adapt high frequency current for use in treating human disease and conditions. There were several models manufactured in the company’s Detroit laboratories and factory. The glass tubes with argon (inert) gas and single electrode were hand blown and bombarded to “painstaking exactness in the Renulife Laboratories” by supervised, skilled workers. The Renulife generator’s cord plugged into and operated on normal 110 volt house current allowing not only professionally supervised use but patient performed home use.

Each model was equipped with electrodes, as the gas tube electrode, interchangeable units, were referred. The Renulife Electric Company made units for standard use, but also manufactured models for specific professional use. The Model G was created for continuous use by “Beauty Parlors and Barber Shops” for hair and scalp massage and facial treatments. Among the specialized electrodes, it had a tined comb like electrode to rake across the scalp to stimulate hair follicles. Model H was more general purpose home use. An adjustable knob allowed users to control the current strength. It cost $12.50 when originally sold with its built in carrying case made of grained leatherette. They contained not only the general body electrode but the metal saturation electrode. At the height of the products use, 27 electrode styles were being manufactured.

Although some professionals and home users touted the product as responsible for a plethora of medical miracles, most people would consider all the Renulife products as medical quackery. Strangely, they now seem ahead of their time, given modern day Chiropractors and other therapists use less invasive electro-stimulating devices which operate using similar principals.

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