#5. bien5, my second car, a 1990 Toyota Corolla

April 2007

I drove this poor thing naked for two months (er ... the car, not me). I just couldn't imagine how to paint on red. On the other hand, after so many years of driving an art car, I just hated not driving one, so I picked up my sponges and cracked open a can of 1-SHOT.

I'd been doing research for a belly dancer who later changed her mind. Still, that's how I got the paisleys on the driver side. I'm a major fan of spirals. In fact, if I'd done the passenger side first, the whole car would have had that design.

I'm still not happy with the roof or the hood, but my own car is usually a work in progress ... The tailgate was an African village but it was awful, and there's no way to take the paint off. I painted Grandma's Quilt on top of the village, though, so everything turned out okay.

I only named this car bien5 because art car show people really want names. I don't like to name things, especially inanimate things. But this worked out, since bien50 combines the phonetic spelling of my initials (bn) and my birth year -- and this was the fifth car I painted. I just call it "my car." I absolutely love it that bien is so good in Spanish and French.

Lee Miller took that great photo of my car and me up at the top.
Yay, Lee!


  1. Hi Barbara! Wow. I actually got inspired by your car painting designs and style. I was able to talk to some Indianapolis used car dealers and inquire about their deals. I'm planning to buy a used car that I'm gonna paint. You know, just to make it a little more fun and vintage-y. I think the roof is perfect, c'mon! And the color red mixed with orange and black is beautiful. As for the name, hmmm.. I think I heard the name 'Bien' from my Spanish grandma when I was young. I wonder what name I should give to my future art car. But I think I still need to go to Indianapolis. Used cars for sale there are everywhere! Okay, I gtg. Thanks!

  2. That's a very thoughtful name.