Bluesville USA–Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, February 10, 2010

Here is the third and final watercolor submitted to the juried exhibition of the Arlington Visual Arts Association.  The Blues are my passion, and I think Buddy Guy is the greatest living Blues guitarist and performer today.  It has been my pleasure to see him perform countless times, and finally, when I visited the Art Institute of Chicago in 2008, I made my way south of my hotel to visit his celebrated Legends nightclub.  My wife and I had flown in from our home in Arlington, Texas the night before, and as we entered his establishment, we asked the manager if Buddy Guy ever “hung out” in his own club.  His answer was, “Yeah, every night that he’s in town.”  Of course we had to know if he was in town.  We were in Chicago for a three-day stay.  “No, he’s performing a three-night venue in Houston.”  Oh well.  Still it was a great club, and the music we heard all three nights was Chicago Blues at its steamiest.

I photographed his club from every angle possible, finding it especially difficult from this perspective posted, with the constant obstruction of traffic lights, passing traffic, etc.  But I liked this angle, and gave it my best try.  I was intimidated by all the teals, as that is my least “cooperative” watercolor, so it seems.  I also struggled with the teals in an earlier blog post–the one of my St. Louis Jazz at the Bistro.  I found the neon-lit signs against dark windows very challenging, but was satisfied with how they came out.  I have tried neon a few more times in my more recent Waxahachie, Texas courthouse square paintings.  My attempts at capturing mildewed and stained concrete again took me back to the Andrew Wyeth coffee table books in my collection.  I spent a great deal of time looking at his drybrush renderings of the concrete buildings at Kuerner’s Farm in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  Wyeth has constantly “taken me back to school” when it comes to solving problems in drybrush renderings.  Finally, I had to try my hand at that vertical corner sign surrounded with light bulbs, featuring the illustration of a young Buddy Guy.  Lettering is my Achilles heel, and there was plenty of it to fight in this sign.  I’ll have to keep chipping away at the lettering issues because I love signage in watercolors, just as I do when I’m out looking at old commercial buildings downtown.

I miss Chicago, and look forward hopefully to spending more days in that Windy City.  It features one of my favorite art museums, my favorite musical genre, and the entire downtown is an architectural wonder to me.

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2 Responses to “Bluesville USA–Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, February 10, 2010”

  1. lesliepaints Says:

    I love Chicago, also. Visited my Grandmother there for years and return to take in the Art Institute and visit a cousin there.
    This piece is striking. What attracts me to it the most is the intricate use of line. The pole and wires leading me along and the writing! Very nice, David.

    Like

  2. David Tripp Says:

    Thank you Leslie. I took well over a hundred photographs last time we were in Chicago and I’ve only done 3 watercolors from them so far. I just look at scores of them at a time and have trouble picking out which one to do next. Thank you for your comments. I’ve always been a sucker, putting lines in my compositions.

    Like

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