This weekend I finished the Bruce Springsteen to complete the 3-painting Rockers series I started last week. The series includes Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen and they are going to make their public debut at the opening of the Music City Fine Arts Gallery this Thursday (March 5th, 2015).
Some backstory of these paintings and why they represent a turning point for me:
Last Saturday I finally had some free time (after the ice storm) to get into the studio and get some work done. I hadn't painted in awhile so I was looking forward to getting something started. I had a large canvas (36 x 48) laying around and decided to play with some background textures and colors. I rarely use green, so I decided that I would try to come up with some interesting shades. After awhile, I decided that I would try to paint a portrait on top of the colors I had made up and settled on a picture of Bob Dylan.
Normally, I paint my portraits horizontally, giving lots of real estate to the background so that I can do interesting effects. This time, I decided to filp my canvas vertically and attempt to fill the entire canvas with as much subject as I could. This was the first of many departures from my normal style. Turning this way would also increase in impact the image would have on the viewer since it would be quite a bit larger and I think viewers would be more drawn into it.
I spent that saturday afternoon testing, experimenting, exploring and finally completing a painting that seemed so far removed from what I normally do, that it almost appeared to me as if someone else had done it, but I loved it. It takes an emotional and physical toll out of you I find, doing works that large. It's amazing how spent you can be, even though you haven't physically gone anywhere, but your mind can travel pretty far. However, the final result had me encouraged and enthused to try another.
Luckily, I just happend to have another large canvas right there in my studio, so I went to work the next day on the Paul McCartney. I decided to go with an older version of him since there are millions of pictures of him as a young man. I wanted to show the wrinkles and the age and the wisdom and weariness that comes from years of making music and living on the road. This painting also had many ups and downs to it, but the end result was something I was quite pleased with, and the two of them next to each other made for a powerful combo.
On Tuesday, I delivered the two paintings to the soon-to-be-opened Music City Fine Arts Gallery where Joey hung them up. He sent me a picture and let me know that there was room for one more to fill out the space perfectly, and that space would look amazing with a Bruce Springsteen. I had also been thinking that 3 are better than 2, so I went to work on the Bruce, further honing in new techniques and applications and the result is a further exploration into a direction I believe I will continue working in. I find that there's a power and a mystery behind these portaits and I'm looking to doing even more now, as soon as I can get back into the studio that is.
Come see them in person either this Thursday for a sneak preview event, Friday for a live painting demonstration by me or Saturday for the Downtown Nashville Art Crawl. Hope to see you soon.