On September 3-6, 2009, a unique convergence of airbrushing luminaries occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, for the 6th Annual Ultimate Air Affair. They were summoned to the shores of the Great Salt Lake and guided to the fortress of “Kreative Kool” by the siren song of Sherri Candland. Sherri is the host of the Ultimate Air Affair and one very cool customer. The mission of the airbrushing illuminati was to enlighten the Ultimate Air Affair attendees in the ways of airbrush effects and custom painting techniques over the three days of classes. This “Dirty Dozen” of instructors consisted of some of the most respected airbrush painters in North America. Sharing their knowledge this year were Mike Lavallee, Fonzy, Gerald Mendez, Brian Papa, Ron Gibbs, Pamela Shanteau, Steve Driscoll, Bob Soroka, Jason Doll, Steve Vandemon and the irrepressible Craig Fraser. The wonderfully talented Deborah Mahan was not able to attend the event as an instructor this year, but she was missed and we look forward to seeing her at future Ultimate Air Affairs.
The aforementioned fortress, also known as Automotive Spraying Equipment Technologies (ASET), houses what is possibly the finest airbrushed art gallery in existence and the infamous “Voodoo Lounge,” where the airbrush instructors let their hair down and “paint from their hearts” as they enjoy the fellowship of their peers and the workshop attendees during the three days of classes. This year the instructors airbrushed puzzle pieces in the Voodoo Lounge that will be assembled on the wall in the foyer of ASET.
The “Air Space” gallery at ASET is a cornucopia of airbrushed art that spills out towards the viewer from virtually every angle. Incredible master works airbrushed by past and current Ultimate Air Affair Instructors adorn a wide variety of objects including pedal planes, snow boards, guitars and cocktail tables. These items cover the wall space and floor to create a truly “sens-surround” experience.
Of course, the lounge and art gallery are only “sauce for the goose.” The “goose” for this gathering is the information and techniques that are on display in the various classes that take place over the three days of the Ultimate Air Affair. The instructors cover a wide range of painting techniques in their classes and all are experts in their specialties. Students from around the globe have homed in on this event to get the finest custom airbrushing and pinstriping instruction available in the world.
A quick synopsis of each class follows:
➢ Craig Fraser actually ran two class sessions. In his first class, he substituted for Deb Mahan to run the “Airbrush Control Class,” which makes sure that every student is on the same page as far as airbrush operation is concerned. Craig also demonstrated his patented method of building an image or collage of images by combining his signature Artool freehand shields with freehand airbrushing.
➢ Steve Vandemon showed how to render tribal designs with the paintbrush and also with the airbrush by using his Tribal Master freehand shields.
➢ Jason Doll demonstrated ultimate tattoo designs with the airbrush in his two-hour class.
➢ “Textures-Smoke and other Special Effects” was the content of Bob Soroka’s lesson.
➢ As usual, portraiture was the focus of Steve Driscoll’s lesson.
➢ Pamela Shanteau demonstrated her famous “folded flag effect” for the class to emulate in her workshop.
➢ Ron Gibbs was the pinstripe guru for his workshop, demonstrating classic pinstriping techniques for his students in their hands-on class.
➢ Brian Papa taught how to be proficient with airbrush and pinstripe lettering.
➢ Gerald Mendez demonstrated freehand airbrushing as well as the use of freehand stencils to create a fantasy image.
➢ Fonzy explained how he airbrushes a Dracula portrait to his workshop students.
➢ Mike Lavallee stayed the course with his ever-popular skull and real fire lesson.
After the three days of workshops wound up, everyone stayed an extra day to experience the Ultimate Air Affair Car Show. Many world-class vehicles were on display, competing for trophies and cash prizes.
The 2009 Ultimate Air Affair was a great success and a wonderful experience for all who attended. All of the students earned an I-Car certification for airbrushing and got to see how the finest airbrush artists paint, up close and personal. In addition to the professional instruction, ASET hosted wonderful luncheons on class days and supplied refreshments all day long while classes ran. This first-class event is a must attend function for anyone who desires the finest in airbrush and custom painting instruction.