Art in Residence - Jim Dunigan

March 29, 2019  •  3 Comments

This may be the most 'fun' image I've purchased from one of our local photographers. If this image doesn't scream California!, I don't know what would.  

William (call me Jim) Dunigan lives in Ramona, CA, in the foothills east of San Diego but west of the mountains and desert; it's San Diego County's Middle Earth, sort of.  Much of Jim's best work is from the coast and this gem is no exception.  A beautiful Rambler Classic, perhaps a '61, sits nicely aligned between two stretches of palms working their way out to the Pacific.   That onion dome at the left of frame locates us at Swami's in Encinitas.  In 1920, Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship, and Swami's became the nickname for the world class surf spot. 

But that's all behind the wall.  What's in front is a clean, blue AMC Rambler; crisp lines, paint as vibrant as when it was new, and metal as smooth and shiny as the day it rolled off the floor. The Rambler's surroundings echo the car's crisp white and clear blue. 

This car belongs there! 

The palms extend the frame vertically into the California sky and frame the composition's edges while the famous Pacific Coast Highway gives it a firm foundation with two nicely drawn lines to add texture to an otherwise bland base.  The horizontal lines continue up through the car and stop at the wall where the wall's top pattern offers a transition between the pure white of the wall and the clear sky at the base of the palms.  Without the wall the car would just blend into the hidden greenery, now it pops. 

Everything here supports that cool, blue Detroit steel.  I'm wondering if Jim swept the curb surrounding the car as it too is spotless. 

Jim's wonderful work, his knack for color and composition and his extraordinary B&W work can be found in three spots that I know of:  Fine Art America, Flickr, and his website.  Go there and stay a while. 

Encinitas, CA Rambler - William Dunigan


Love the square format of this, fits the composition perfectly. I can also fully see California in this image.

Like Cedric mentioned, cars just don't have this kind of character anymore.
That is one fun looking image indeed. The photographic style looks familiar but I can't place it. I was recently lamenting the loss of originality in car design these days. All sedans look the same, as do all SUVs, hatches, 4WDs and so on. There is a bit more flair when the price tag goes up but not much. I'd trade in all the electronic gadgetry, cup holders, phone chargers and whatnot, for some chunky chrome bumpers and some cool lines that end at rear wing tips :)
By the way, I like how you photographed this photo. Makes for a perfect outer frame.
Jeeps, Ramblers and Colts

After my first car 1949 Willy's Jeepster broke down, I got my moms 1965 Rambler Ambassador to drive in 1976 when my Dad bought her a 1974 Rambler .
Unlike my Jeepster it had windows, a roof that didn't leak, working windshield wipers and no holes in the floorboards. I was grateful to be living high on the hog, It was however a gas hog and the times of the Iran hostage crisis, Jimmy Carter and high oil and gas prices were coming.

I bought a prior year model 1980 Dodge Colt brand new. It cost $6,500 with tax out the door, but I saved $120 a month in gas so it would pay for itself in 4 1/2 years in gas savings..

Almost exactly 4 1/2 years later, in July 1984 I moved to Florida. My 1980 Dodge Colt had paid for itself in gas savings but it didn't carry much. It was economical though and my Mom likes the small size as it was easy to use the small parking spaces that became the rage. My mom was tired of her 10 year old 1974 Rambler as it was needing more repairs and was a gas hog so we swapped cars so I could bring more of my stuff to Florida.

As soon as I got here I got rid of it (before another major repair hit me) and bought a used 1984 Dodge Colt with only 4,000 miles on it. It was a stick shift car that a guy bought for his girlfriend and didn't have air conditioning (which is idiotic in Florida). She never learned to drive a stick, hated not having air and they broke up. So I gave him $4,000 and it was mine. I paid $750 to have an air conditioner installed and kept the car until 1988 when Katie was born as it was very hard to get a child seat into the back of the hatchback.

I was driving Gloria Fielding's Rambler during a violent thunder storm on the bridge to Tampa Bay with Tom and Ernie when the wiper blade decided to fly off the car and go flying. But that's a story for another day.

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