welcome to star yantra
a video poem

star yantra platehood

Back to Media

Artist-poet Blake More debuts hand-painted car
                        By Carolyn Young

Blake More put the final touches on her second hand-painted car, “Yantra,” last week after working on this art project for almost three months in Junior Roddy’s home garage. Now her artwork is on the road.

“Yantra” roughly refers to “sacred symbols” in Hindu and Buddhist traditions, and More’s car blazes with mystical images and nighttime colors.

More found Yantra, a black 1997 SL 500 Mercedes, through the ICO Trade Winds Ads last October. The car came with a high quality, smooth paint surface, but More said she always planned to scuff the original surface and to paint on it.

“I’m the kind of person who thinks everything is an opportunity for art,” More explained. “Life is so ‘the same’ — cars on the road — and to me, there are so many possibilities for creativity.”

More’s inspiration for the car’s painted design came to her while she was driving the car as well as through dreams while she slept. She said when she took the car for one of its first drives during “an epic weekend at the height of Indian Summer,” she noticed the hood of the car. “It suddenly spoke to me,” More said. “I saw this koi pond and an Om sign – and the Om sign is for me the universal symbol for peace and essence.”

After sanding Yantra to scuff off the original clear coat, More used outdoor acrylic metal sign paint to create images that include phases of the moon, a woman sitting on a ladder with a raven under the moon, a fish swimming in a koi pond with a lotus flower, cherry blossoms, the sun, and praying hands.

“I saw it pretty much as it is,” More said, who sketched out the design for the entire car while waiting for a friend to call one evening.

Of course, Yantra also displays More’s poems: one on the driver’s side, one on the passenger’s side, one couplet near the koi pond on the hood, and on the back of the car a phrase that came to her during a dream: “Our eyes are hands of light.” More chuckled and said, “That phrase is what people get to look at when they’re sitting in traffic.”

Lettering her poems on her cars is for More an excellent way to publish poems. “People do read Eartha all the time,” she said, referring to her previous art car. 
More worked on her car after her normal workdays, usually arriving at Junior’s garage around 4 p.m., and says she often worked until 2, and even 4 a.m.

“Everything was done at Junior’s home shop,” More said. “He knows what he’s doing — it’s car painting; and I totally believe in working with people like him.”
With Junior’s help, More tested her metal paint with his clear coat product and they saw that her paint would hold. The final step for Yantra last week was for Junior to spray on the clear coat.

“The reason it looks so good is because of Junior’s clear coating,” More said.
“I love Junior,” More added. “He’s such one of the busiest people I know, and yet he always takes the time to support other good things.”

More said she had a wonderful time working at Junior’s home location and felt supported by his family members and friends. “Hanging with those guys — it made me not go crazy!” she exclaimed and mentioned that she often ate dinner with Junior’s family and that they gave her lots of feedback on her artwork.

More’s first car, “Eartha,” is well known to many people in Point Arena, Gualala and beyond. In contrast to Yantra, Eartha glows with warm day colors. Painted in just three and a half weeks in August of 2003, Eartha gained fame not just for being out of the ordinary in appearance but also for being one of the early and rare bio-diesel automobiles on the road.

More explained that she converted Eartha into a bio-diesel car because she thought that energy technology would take off. However, over the years the cost and inconvenience of filling Eartha (bio-fuel costs can be as high as $5 per gallon) has become problematic for More. “I have to drive tens of miles out of my way to get fuel,” she explained. For this reason, she never planned to convert Yantra’s fuel system.

Eartha came to Blake with a less refined paint job, so she had to sand more deeply and prime the car before painting it. Junior clear-coated Eartha two and a half years ago, which has spruced up and preserved this car.

For Yantra, More only needed to scuff the surface and was able to make use of the original black color as a base.

“As artists, we hope people see what we made and feel good,” More said. “I painted Yantra because it brings me such joy to create. Of course I want other people to be inspired. I’m not a great artist — I just take the time to do.”