Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Great Guy, Great Lunch, Great Book, Great Autograph!"

My long time aviation artist buddy, Mike Machat.
I met my aviation buddy, Mike Machat at the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant overlooking the Van Nuys airport. Every time I return to SoCal, I make an appointment to have lunch with Mike. He and I grew up making plastic models as kids and one of our major influences in our adult art career was Jack Leynnwood, who created model box top art for Revell and Aurora. So, even if we never had anything else to talk about having Jack in our lives is a topic we never tire of. 

Mike and I met on the board of the Society of Illustrators in Los Angeles and found aviation as a passion that we both shared. We spent many years painting for the U.S. Air Force Art Program and the American Society of Aviation Artists. We both worked at aerospace plants in LA and both had to split before the whole industry caved in on itself. The big difference between he and I is that he's a pilot and I am not, and he continued making a living as an aviation artist and I went the route of creating presentation art for the ad world.

This year, Mike published his third hard cover book entitled," The Art of Mike Machat" Painting Aviation Legends." In the book, he writes about the varied processes of creating historical art for the aviation industry working directly with the pilots that made so many contributions to flight. One year ago, he asked me to read a couple of pages to give him my opinion of the concept. I was flattered then that he wanted my perspective on the concept, and yesterday, was more flattered to receive my own autographed copy.

He signed it, "For Ben Bensen, Fellow Air Force Artist, Jack Leynnwood fan, and friend. With admiration, Mike Machat."

Thanks, Mike!

Copyright 2016/ Ben Bensen III