June 15, 2015
Just completed commission painting of the city of St Louis. This was ordered by a friend who just moved to St Louis and wanted a representation of the city on her new walls. This one is 36 x 60, so it's an impressive size and is quite striking. The monochromatic style is quite the departure from my normal techniques, but I loved doing this one. Thanks once again to Rita for being a repeat supporter of Roy Laws Art, I greatly appreciate it!
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.
Great story about my latest commission painting. I was recently contacted by a lady who had seen my work and wanted a portrait done for her fiancee for his birthday. The picture she wanted was of a player from the Detriot Lions. Having never done a sports-related painting before, I was eager to take on the new challenge. Well, the finished result was quite nice and she was quite happy with the result. It was only when I was giving her the painting did I realize that her fiancee was the player in the painting! Jason Jones, DE for the Detroit Lions was the subject of the work and he now has his own portrait. Thanks again to MyRanda for contacting me and I do hope to work with you again in the future.
So I got the call yesterday that they needed an artist to come in and talk about the creative scene in Nashville since it was just named the 3rd most creative city in the US. So, I get to the station at 5:45 and we head out back to film our little part right there on the banks of the Cumberland river. Since most of my work is out on display right now, I had to take what I had on hand, that included a Ray Charles portrait that still needs varnishing, a commissioned guitar that I had to delay a pickup on for a day, a small guitar from my sons room and a Willie Nelson that I whipped out just last evening. It was a blast! I've also included a video my wife took at home, you can hear my son's running commentary:
Watch interview here.
Check it out! My profile in Your Williamson Magazine just came out today. Thanks to Andrea McNeil Davis for coming out and spending some time to check out my work, I greatly appreciate it. Pick up a copy for yourself and come out to see my work in person this Friday at the Williamson County Visitors Center for the Franklin Art Crawl.
Click to view article.