Col’s eye-catching van

ARTY: Bus owner Col Ward watches as artist Lisa Wiseman puts the finishing touches on the artwork.Col Ward always wanted a tiger painted on the door of his motorhome andnow he has a whole African jungle travelling along with him.

His Toyota Coaster bus isa moving work of art, emblazoned with around 50 animals including big cats, elephants, antelopes, crocodiles, a giraffe, a rhinoceros,penguins, turtles, meerkats anda bat colony.

The work has created a steady flow of interest from passersby driving past Col’s Eloiza Street with the bus parked out the front.

Local residents have been charting the progress of Dungog artistLisa Wiseman who has been lovingly labouring on the project for the past 11 months.

Col said he had been chasing a man to do the tiger painting on the door for some time before a friend mentioned Lisa who was also Col’s friend and operates her studio Cerublu from Dowling Street.

Lisa is no stranger to designing artwork on vehicles, having worked on a number of caravans and cars.

“I think Lisa thoughtit would be a nice simple little job and then it just went on from the tiger,” laughed Col.

“It’s just spectacular.

“I’m so happy with it.”

Lisa said she and Col would discuss each stage during the project of transforming the chocolate brown bus.

“The weather has been a bit difficult at times so I went sometimes for weeks being able to paint but other days Idid four days a week,” said Lisa.

“I’ve nicknamed it the Sistine Catbus as I’ve spent so much time up on trestles and I don’t really like being up in the air.”

While Col and Lisa have almost lost count of the menagerie on the bus, there are 19 big cats alone on the exterior and another four painted inside, including a snow tiger on the refrigerator.

Each scene is its own story and the more you look at the bus the more animals you see.

Each of the cats’ eyes follow you when you move.

“The eyes of the cats have been painted in gold leaf so they shine off the car lights so it is pretty impressive at night, with the driver behind me having a catstaring at them,” said Col.

Col plans to travel in his newly completed work of art and is keen to see the impressions from other travelers.

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