The Junkyard 39 Ford Woodie at the Barrington Truck Show

Watercolors by
William B. MacGregor Jr.

Artist Profile
aka: the Junkyard Artist

....Castle Hill Design.....


     

William B. MacGregor Jr. was born in Medfield MA in 1947 and the son and grandson of Norfolk Hunt Club  kennel masters.  Bill is from a family of self taught artists, woodcarvers, and skilled automobile mechanics.

     His love affair with cars began in 1964 when he bought his first car, a rusted green 1948 Dodge convertible.  Today he owns a 1939 Ford Station Wagon, which he has owned since 1972 ,1955 Ford Crown Victoria with a glass roof, 1988 Chevrolet Station Wagon, and looking for a 1955 Chevy Nomad.

     Bill is a graduate of Medfield High School, Wentworth Institute, Northeastern University, and McIntosh College (Phi Theta Kappa). My artwork is influenced by a passion for old cars and an engineering career which encompasses Civil Engineering & Surveying,  major defense contractors, QC manager for thin-film optical coatings and a drafting consultant for WCVB-TV Channel 5. (A major Boston television station)   Bill has recently retired as a Senior Engineer with Lockheed Martin is now a full time artist!  

The Junkyard Artist at Harvey's Farm checking out a 1934 Ford dump truck in 1970

 

Liz taking care of the booth at the Early Ford V8 Car show

The Junkyard Artist's Art Studio

    Bill  now spends his free time as a self-taught artist in the junkyards and traveling to auto swap meets, art festivals and country fairs in the New England area.  

      His  painting technique incorporates “old skool” mechanical and civil drafting techniques including ruling pens, leroy, inking the drawing and then completing it using watercolors, acrylics and gouache. 
       Originals and prints of his watercolors and clothing line (Junkyard Apparel) are now part of private
collections throughout the United States, and the following foreign countries.  (USA, England, Canada, Nova Scotia, Jamaica, Switzerland, Hungary, India,  Japan, Israel, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Guam, Germany, Italy and Norway)

 

Locations

Artwork and Junkyard Apparel are available at the following locations: 

“Where Racing History Repeats Itself"  Please visit the PRONYNE Motorsports Museum which New England’s only museum dedicated to auto racing history. The address is 8 Cleveland Street , Pawtucket , RI   02860 . (401) 447-4202. Call for an appointment and hours of operation or visit them on Facebook.
From collectibles to cars, buy and sell all kinds of items on eBay Member is a PowerSeller Get fast shipping and excellent service from Top-rated sellers.
EBAY Store: 
The Junkyard Artist

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Buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies on Etsy, the world's most vibrant handmade marketplace

ETSY Store: 
The Junkyard Artist


Originals, Art Prints or Junkyard Apparel (T-Shirts)  are now in the following foreign countries.  

 Italy  Canada, Nova Scotia, Canada England Jamaica
Switzerland Hungary India Japan Israel
New Zealand Australia Finland Sweden Germany
Norway Guam Spain Netherlands Brazil
Indonesia Finland Ireland

 France

    Belgium
Puerto Rico Russia, Russian Federation

Recent Accomplishments

  • Member Ocean State Artisans and Rhode Island Watercolor Society (Associate Member)
  • Selected by the Stanislaus California County Fair to provide the fair poster artwork. 
  • First place “ Rotary Club of Middleboro’s 17th annual arts & craft fair.
  • Original watercolor painting donated for the USS Saratoga Museum’s fundraiser held at the home of the Governor of Rhode Island’s home..
  • Artwork selected by Nashville's Country Rock Group Scarywagon  for their new CD "Yankee on the Wagon" 
  • Featured artist for 4 years in a row, Early Ford V8 Club of New England for its events t-shirts and dash plaques.
  • www.junkyardartist.com was the featured web site in seacoastnh.com. (See article below)

Newspapers etc.

 
  • Woonsocket, RI Newspaper, The Call, (front page feature Fair full of festive crafts)
  • Featured in The Providence Journal
  • Featured in the July 2006 issue of the national trade magazine for the Septic industry.  www.pumper.com

  • Featured  in the September issue of the national trade magazine for the Used Car Industry.  www.usedcarnews.com

  • Connecticut Cruise News, Behind the Brush

  • Seacoast Flower, Home & Garden Show 

  • Foster’s daily democrat Sunday newspaper: (Show at UNH kicks off garden season)
  • The Middleboro Gazette
  • Boston Globe Newspaper: feature article in Sunday’s globe west.
  • Medfield Press: Feature front-page feature article (Native creates junkyard art).
  • Mass. Cruisers Auto Club
  • V-8 Past Times

  • Foster’s daily democrat Sunday newspaper: my website (www.junkyardartist.com) was the topic of  “In Site” by J. Dennis Robinson’s favorite Internet sites. 

Guest Speaker

  • Guest speaker, Sunday’s 12-1PM Radio show, Sweet Chariots (the search for the ultimate vehicle) Business 1060 AM WBIX.
  • Guest Speaker; Ocean State Artisans
  • Guest speaker: 1060 AM radio WBIX, Early Ford V8 Club’s annual car show.
  • Guest speaker; Massachusetts cruisers auto club.
  • Guest speaker; Medfield Historical Society.

 

The Junkyard Artist was featured on September 2001 in the Sunday Foster's Daily Democrat and New Hampshire's and Southern Maine's Seacost Informative Website  SeacoastNH.com

SeacoastNH.com logo

SeacoastSearch.com
JUNKYARD ART
http://www.junkyardartist.com

Junkyard Art
THE NUTS AND BOLTS

Forget the bald eagle, snail darter and spotted owl. Today's topic is the latest endangered American symbol -- the auto junkyard. In the olden days they were everywhere -- acres of twisted metal rusting with defiant ease. Every road had a farm and every farm had a mechanical carcass or more. In New England, back when the waterways were polluted, people simply drove their ailing Fords and Studebakers to the river like putting old Gluefoot out to pasture. The theory, I can only suppose, was that the river sped up the centuries-long rusting process and put a healthy dose of iron back in the drinking water.

In the good old days, those who weren't conceived in cars, at least grew up in them. My brothers and I were fortunate enough to have an old truck body for a clubhouse, that lay just over the stone wall on the neighbor's back land. Both my parents came from family farms, complete with a family auto cemetery. Uncle Em had a car or two out behind a tumbledown garage, too full of paint cans and bedsprings and with a floor too rotted to hold any vehicles. We'd climbed in through the busted windows shrouded in blackberry bushes and yanked all the knobs and levers, pretending to drive the same cars that were old when my father was a kid. But alas, the junkyards are dissolving fast.

So who speaks out for rotting cars today? Bill MacGregor, the Junkyard Artist, that's who. For just $50, you too can own a nostalgic watercolor of an American beauty -- frame included.

MacGregor paints junked cars. It's his passion. He paints them, like classic nudes, in repose in natural surroundings -- all curvy and stark and sleepy. He duplicates the pictures, frames them, and takes them around to car shows, propping the pictures up on his own antique cars. He has three: (1) a 1955 Ford Crown Victoria with a plastic roof (only 1999 were made); (2) A 1939 Ford station wagon, and (3) a 1980 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

THE WEB MAKERS

In real life MacGregor is a mechanical engineer. He commutes 65 miles each way each day to work in the semiconductor industry in Methuen, MA. Lately he's been working on a miniature helium leak detector. Now 53, he finds himself dreaming about retirement -- and the love of his youth -- old cars. His wife Elizabeth Mantelli is principal at Spaulding High School in Rochester where they live.

"We've known each other since high school," MacGregor says. "She knows about the disease, but she likes old cars too. On our first date in Medfield, MA I had to go down to Braintree to get some car parts."

MacGregor and Mantelli created the Junkyard Artist concept two years ago as a potential retirement business. The inspiration came from Herb Rauh, an artist from Epping who paints in the winter and sells seasonally in art shows. Why not, MacGregor thought, paint cars and sell them at car shows? Focusing on junked cars added an emotional "hook", and just the right mix of landscape and technology.

The web site followed soon after. MacGregor took a course at MacIntosh College and handed in his first-ever web site as an assignment, built in Microsoft Front Page. It's not bad. The images are big and there's plenty of interesting stuff to read, especially about old US junkyards. The text menu at the bottom is easy to navigate, but should be duplicated at the top too. The site seriously needs an online store, and MacGregor says he needs to take another course to master shopping carts.

But there's plenty of time to improve. MacGregor says he is, perhaps five years from the big leap. Babyboomers, he notes, don't retire, but simply change careers. Those who have paid their dues to corporate America, often launch new businesses based on the things they love most.

THE UPSHOT

I have to tell a story here. My brother Brian bought a fixer-upper in an obscure corner of Maine. The house came with its own little river and along the river, buried fender-deep, were ten junked cars. A few years back he decided to get rid of the old heaps and called a downeast junkyard dealer who showed up with an ancient flatbed. My brother hoped he wouldn't have to spend a fortune. The owner, as old as the oldest cars, said he had to check out the situation personally, and went into the woods. He came back eventually, stroked his chin, and shook his head.

"Gonna be a lotta work," he said. "Not as easy as I'd hoped. I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist on getting' $10 per car!"

If it weren't true, it could be a Bert & I routine. But the junkman was canny. He'd probably have paid my brother for the wrecks because junked auto parts are big business. Not only that, MacGregor says, but there are so many car collectors today that reproduction parts are a growth industry.

MacGregor remembers playing in a '32 Ford parked in the back of the family garage. The day it was junked he was heartbroken.

"When I was a kid we were always working on cars, going to the junkyard, taking off pieces, haggling with the owner. The modern junkyard is very computerized, very high tech," MacGregor says. "They're disappearing very rapidly. There's one in Maine where the owner will still let you roam around, but that's very unusual today."

On vacation in Pueblo, Colorado recently, MacGregor says he and his wife made a pilgrimage to a 80-acre yard with 5,000 junked cars.

"They wouldn't even let me bring in my camera!" says the Junkyard Artist. "They look up the part on a computer and say - aisle 6, row 7. $200. It's not much different from going to Wall Mart. I told the guy I was from New Hampshire and had traveled 2,000 miles and he just looked at me."

What goes around comes around. Just a few decades ago, MacGregor says, he mastered mechanical skills on the drawing board. Computer graphics put an end to that. Now technology is usurping his precious junkyards too. So he is fighting back, reviving his inking and painting skills to make his own artistic statement. Eventually MacGregor hopes to put on his new parachute and leap into a second career - leaving behind the teeny microchips in favor of lumbering prehistoric technology.

The Junkyard Artist remembers when chrome was chrome, and steel was steel, and seats were made of cloth and leather. (Today it's all made of plastic.) An 1951 Buick sits on its haunches like an Egyptian sphinx beneath a tree. A 1930 Model A with red wire wheels grazes in a quiet pasture. Two tawny Ford trucks wade like hippos in a slow moving stream. It's a whole new environmental statement.

And how does the Junkyard Artist battle high tech - with high tech, of course. That web site address again: www.junkyardartist.com.

by J Dennis Robinson
Copyright ©2001 SeacoastSearch.com All Rights Reserved


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Trains & Railroad Art Prints     F.A.Q. & How to ORDER by mail  Discontinued/Sold Out
 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you ever think about where your cars go when their lives are through?  I am sure they go to car heaven; also known as the Junkyard.  Bring a little car heaven into your home, office or garage with an watercolor art print or a junkyard artist T-Shirt designed by William B. MacGregor Jr., the Junkyard Artist. 

 

 

Website created by the Junkyard Artist
 756A Greenville Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919
Webmaster William Mac Gregor @
Webmaster@junkyardartist.com
copyright,2000  (all rights reserved)

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