A Retirement present for ‘MaryAnn’

after 50+ plus years of head-down, hard work in the harsh environment of Antartica,

'MaryAnn' noseart on D8

Final noseart for ‘MaryAnn’ on the fuel tank of the D8

‘MaryAnn’ has come home to the US for her retirement, and gotten, at last, to see palm

Maryann D8 tractor-sideview

‘MaryAnn’ her name newly painted

trees under which to relax.  Not a dog musher, MaryAnn is actually a 25-ton D8 Tractor, one of only five built by Caterpillar to survive and work effectively on ice floes for science stations at the south pole.   ‘MaryAnn’, built in 1953, is now owned by Team Ghilotti, an engineering, heavy construction company in Petaluma, California.  Glen Ghilotti, owner, bought MaryAnn, asked that she get nose art befitting her new retired status.

As ‘MaryAnn’, it was easy to develop a design based on the lovable farm girl character from the tv show ‘Gilligan’s island’.  As ‘MaryAnn’ was sitting in a field, awaiting a large tractor show, we camped out around her for a few days to get her prettied up and ready for her retirement debut.

jerri painting noseart to the D8

Jerri, painting palm trees into the design

MaryAnn will no longer carve landing strips from ice, heave tons of equipment through blizzards or fortify ice walls for fragile human habitats in the harshest climate in the world, but will tour the US, allowing the public to view this historic vehicle.

One of A Kind P-40 V.W. Specialty Vehicle

John Zeigler, of north Richland hills, Texas, recently acquired honors for his one-of-a-kind ‘P40-mobile’,  a snazzy custom vehicle, complete with a sliding canopy cockpit, nose art and wing stubs, based on a 1970 VW Beatle chassis. “Cindy Ann” won 3rd place at the huge Texas VW Classic car show and competition in the Specialty Vehicle category. “Specialty Vehicle” might be a bit of an understatement for this nifty number!

P40 style specialized vehicle

P40 style specialized vehicle

John, a flight mechanic for American Eagle, has had a passion for old aircraft all his life, starting with the fleet of models he built as a kid. John soloed in a Citabria on his 16th birthday, had his license by the time he was 17, and went on to get a multitude of ratings shortly after that. When he began the “Cindy Ann” car project 4 years ago, he knew it would be aviation related. He had the backbone of a 1970 VW Beatle that he envisioned as the cockpit of a P40 Warhawk. He custom built the frame, interior, body and canopy, and had Victory Girl hand paint nose art ” Cindy Ann” to a cowling he specially designed to fit just forward of the “cockpit”.

John is very pleased with the results and, so is everyone who gets to see this marvelous machine in action!

P40 style specialized vehicle

P40 style specialized vehicle

P40 style specialized vehicle

P40 style specialized vehicle

His lovely, patient wife Cindy Anne has put up with the late nights in the garage, the metal chips in the laundry and mutterings of john arguing with himself over the merits of a dihedral design versus a straight wing.  John named this quirky little car ‘Cindy Ann’.

DeHavilland Mosquito Door Squadron Art Bound for Virginia Museum

Christopher Wilkinson with his Mosquito crew door panel (and foam padding for shipping!)

A rare DeHavilland Mosquito crew door, owned by Christopher Wilkinson of Santa Monica is now on its way to The Military Aircraft Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia, following a long labor of love by Christopher, which included Victory Girl nose art.

Chris found the panel on Ebay, and then began finding American pilots who flew this British designed two engined bomber during WWII.   Chris found several still living, and, at his own expense (he’s an architect in his spare time!) he traveled around the country getting signatures of these unsung heros.  WWII Pilots Dick Hoover and Rolland Bushner, along with First Officer Robert Kirkpatrick, Navigator  William Silva and Armorer Jack Sheer have all signed the panel. Chris then asked us to handpaint the original squadron insignia for these men’s groups, prior to the display of the panel at the Military Aircraft Museum.  The panel will be displayed alongside a restored DeHavilland Mosquito, being delivered to the Museum by owner Jerry  Yagen.

Christopher had a special ironclad case built for the crew door’s travels around the country, and no wonder, this is a one-of-a-kind keepsake of some valiant warriors of WWII.

closeup of the DeHavilland Mosquito door art


Teardrop Trailer is Nose Art Canvas…

Michael and 100 other Teardrop trailer enthusiasts took over Lake Perris State Campground this last weekend, showing off all sorts of Teardrop trailer configurations,  amazing outdoor kitchens, custom teardrop interiors, dutch oven cooking gear and matching vehicle paint schemes. Michael chose to customize his trailer with a Victory Girl custom-painted aviation nose art vinyl (34″ tall) ‘Ready For Duty’ – a design we created based on a WWII pinup by A. Varga.   See more of these tiny teardrop campers at www.teardro

Friday Flyin-Gillespie Field

Erich Moulder and the folks at CAF unit Air Group One, of Gillespie Field, El Cajon, CA  cut up a rug the first Friday every month- in connection with the Gillespie Airport Cafe.  We (Mike n I in the back) flew ‘Lady Satan’ down to Gillespie to join the fun.  Jim Slattery, also on the field, brought over his tremendous PBY- Catalina–  (which he’d flown that morning!)- that turned out to be great shade for the event, and spectacular to see, from the inside out.   A reggae band played while attendees  foxtrotted on the ramp and ate fish tacos.  Bailey, a cute-as-a-button 40s model and CAF member got all the photographers snapping pictures, while L5 builders took notes, comparing their build plans with ‘Lady Satan’.  I got to see some of my jacket artwork walking around (thanks Heather!)  -and thank you everyone for your great hospitality!

Bailey and Howard at Gillespie

L5 and dancers at Gillespie

Lady Satan at Jet Air-Gillespie

Cowlings Are Her Canvas’ Victory Girl Article in AOPA Pilot Feb 2013 Issue

Cowlings Are Her Canvas – AOPA Pilot Feb 2013 Issu

Some artists paint portraits, others prefer landscapes. Jerri Bergen, however, paints noses—of aircraft. Traditionally, nose art is the decorative art that was painted on an aircraft mostly by military mechanics and pilots involved in yesteryear’s conflicts. A unique genre that reached its peak during World War II, nose art is enjoying a revival thanks to artists like Bergen. A former computer information systems manager at McDonnell Douglas, Bergen started Victory Girl nose art studio in 2006 with her twin sister Terri, who enthusiastically supports her work as does Bergen’s husband, Chris.

Bergen’s passion is to help preserve military aviation history and memorialize the stories of today’s pilots through art. To date, she has created art for more than 100 aircraft and at least a couple of hundred jackets.

“Nose art is my passion,” said Bergen. “I love it not only for the artwork, but for the story each piece of artwork has to tell.”

Take a moment to nose around this selection of Bergen’s artwork.

Article is Here: http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2012/121127cowlings-are-her-canvas.html

by Geri Silveira

‘Colt Revolver’ Custom Nose Art Painted Leather Jacket

Colt Revolver Ad on a leather jacket

Colt Revolvers, sassy gals- great Painted Leather Jacket art!



Custom Painted Leather Jacket Nose Art

Guns, girls, leather, and aviation.  Jerri Bergen mastered this Colt Revolver popular decoration wall tin sign featuring an old 1920s Colt Revolver advertisement.  Pictured here Jerri models the finished product, her latest custom painted leather jacket art project.  The customer is a local gun aficionado and jacket collector who reached out to us with a request to combine these two loves into this great art piece for his personal use.  Showing an idealized Annie Oakley with a Colt Peacemaker (she owned several Colt revolvers and Colt .22 rifles), and the two logos of the Colt Patent Mfg Company this painted leather jacket turned out perfectly.

The slogan ‘Don’t Touch This Gal’  is certainly appropriate.  Annie Oakley, considered the best woman rifleman of the age, and best pistol shot among her peers of ‘Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West’ show, of which she was  a star.   During the show, a crewman would toss a dime up into the air, 90 feet away, and Annie would raise her .22, aim, fire and hit the dime, sometimes while on horseback.

Our jackets take 5-8 weeks from start to finish. We begin with a concept sketch (see our custom projects page) and work with you on size, complexity, and design features.  Once you have approved where we’re taking the art piece, we prepare the leather with our special magic formula, then paint by hand your delicious art piece. Once complete, we treat the painting which gives it a lifetime bond to the painted leather jacket and ship it off to you.

Did we mention that we love our job?  Here is a video about Annie Oakley


P-38 National Association Custom Poster Aviation Art

  • p38 National AssociationCustom Aviation Art – Poster design for P-38 National Association

Custom Aviation Artwork

This Custom Aviation Artwork was created for the P-38 National Association, in preparation for a proposed event at the Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA.   The association is now working closely with a Planes of Fame Airshow event where SIX P-38s will be flying!