Neil Young is now making watercolour paintings of vintage cars

October 15, 2014

At age 68, Neil Young has had an inscrutable career. He’s released countless perfect albums with some of the biggest names in country and rock ‘n’ roll; with Pono, he reinvented himself as a tech entrepreneur; and with his recent Honour the Treaties tour, he’s spoken out in solidarity with Canada’s First Nations people. Indeed, over his career, he’s made few missteps (except maybe 1995’s Mirror Ball—but we don’t talk about that album).

Still, nearing his seventh decade, the After the Gold Rush singer is trying new things. Like, for example, watercolour paintings. According to Wired, Young’s paintings will appear in his car-centric memoir, Special Deluxe, as well as his forthcoming album, Storytone. As one might expect, Young likely has a fraught relationship with cars: Besides being an integral part of his lifestyle and music, we’d expect that Young—as green a dude as you’ll find, and someone who argued that environmental issues should take precedence over waging war with ISIS—understands the destructive effect cars have had on the planet.

“I have always thought about painting and never had the confidence to start,” Young told Wired, of the paintings. “But when I wrote the book I searched and chose some photos of the cars and decided to trace them in pencil to eliminate the backgrounds and let the shapes dominate.”

We won’t mince words: Young’s a way better musician (and an activist) than he is a painter. But we’ll cut him some slack—he’s colourblind, traced the images, and used basic office supplies to create the painting. Plus, we’ll be honest: They’re better than anything we could draw.


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