Posts Tagged ‘Jazz’

Another One of the Delicious Late Nights in the Art Studio

April 27, 2013
Saturday Night in the Man Cave

Saturday Night in the Man Cave

Watercolor Nearing Completion

Watercolor Nearing Completion

I could not possibly have dialed up a more perfect Saturday night in the Man Cave.  I had the exquisite privilege of engaging in plein air painting with a host of friends earlier today in a perfect prairie environment.  Coming home exhausted, I chose to close my eyes for a short period in the late afternoon.  Now, with coffee in the man cave, I had planned on working on this piece until the wee hours of the morning.  But suddenly, it “looked” finished.  I know it’s close.  I’ll wait until I can see it tomorrow under natural light, and will no doubt have some “tweaking” to do.  But it is nearly complete, and I’m surprised.  I only started it this week.

I noted with disgust that my door looked twisted because I had badly drawn one of the recessed panels out of perspective.  Some re-drawing and sandpaper was called for, but it didn’t take long to fix that.  I then reworked some of the wood of the crate, intensified the blues on the pail, completed the ring around the top of the pail, refined the pine cones a little more, deepening the contrast.  Finally, I added more washes to the door to darken it further, and then decided to finish out the borders on all four sides, extending the paint all the way to the edge.  There was plenty of mopping up to do tonight, but it went really fast.

My studio tonight has entered a time warp.  (For those readers only interested in my painting observations, you can stop reading at this point.)  But I really want to share this eccentricity that is turning out to be so enjoyable this evening: Back in 1987, I taught as an adjunct instructor at Texas Christian University, and dispatched for the campus police department in the evenings, getting off at midnight.  The dispatcher who relieved me (Archie) was an interesting dude, always coming in at 11:55 wearing army fatigues, sporting a military haircut, carrying his sketchbook and tacklebox full of art supplies (he was an art major), and chewing gum.  The first thing he did was walk over to the boom box and tune in to an FM radio station, KZPS 92.5.  The program was “Enerjazz at Night.”  It ran 8:00 p.m. till 2:00 a.m.  He then went into the kitchen to make strong coffee to keep him going till 8:00 a.m.  Those 5-10 minutes in his space every night during the shift transition were enough to get me addicted to jazz music, especially when making art late at night.  At my apartment, I had an enormous stack of blank 90-minute cassettes given to me by a disc jockey from an FM station years before.  I started bringing them with me at night, and as soon as 8:00 p.m. rolled around, I popped a cassette into the boom box and recorded “Enerjazz at Night.”  So, I now have hours and hours of FM programming from the winter of 1987, with the DJ calling out the wrong times, the wrong temperatures, concerts at local venues that no longer exist.  And I just get a kick out of listening to this stuff while I paint alone into the night.  It brings back some of those memories of late nights in the 1980’s when I had not yet started teaching in the public schools, dispatched for the police at night, and often went home to my apartment at midnight and resumed an art project that had been waiting for me.

Thanks for indulging me.  I just had to get that off my chest.  Now, that I’ve stopped this painting, and am not yet sleepy, I suppose I’ll sink into a comfy chair in my man cave, continue listening to the jazz (all of it instrumental) and re-open one of my many unfinished books.  It’s time to enjoy the late night.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Preparing for the Fort Worth Music Festival

September 19, 2011

St. Louis Jazz at the Bistro

The Fort Worth Music Festival is two weeks away, so I’m dusting off my music subjects.  This watercolor was completed in the summer of 2010, then promptly stolen.  Fortunately,  I had a photograph made, so giclee prints are now available.

Jazz at the Bistro is located in St. Louis, just around the corner from their historic Fox Theater.  The cool blue hues of this facade, to me, reflected cool jazz, and I couldn’t resist a watercolor of the subject.  I’ve been asked recently to work on some watercolor compositions, using Prismacolor watercolor pencils exclusively.  This particular painting made heavy use of Prismacolor pencils over my Winsor and Newton watercolors.  This week I plan to do some experimenting with Prismacolor watercolor pencils, a first for me.  Tomorrow, I hope to begin a series of watercolor sketches at various Fort Worth locations.  I need new material for the various art festivals coming up the next two months.

Thanks for reading.

 

Kerouac Jazz Moods for Late Night

March 8, 2011

jazz at the bistro

Trying to unwind and get to sleep.  Earlier today I posted the Red Goose Shoes sign from a low angle, reflected in a store front window, and just now recalled this low-angle Jazz sign I painted last year with a reflection off the window.  This marks the first time I ever tried to paint a window reflection.

This original watercolor, unfortunately, was either lost or stolen last summer.  The organization that had possession of it made good and paid me the listed price of the painting, and fortunately I had images of it to make limited edition giclee prints.  But it always sickens me to have an original piece come up missing like this.

It’s very likely that I could finish the Red Goose Shoes painting tomorrow.  I’m ready to move on to another composition.  Red Goose gave me headaches, with all the detail called forth.  I’m ready for something looser and more atmospheric.  We’ll see what transpires.

Thanks for reading.

Jazz at the Bistro now on the Greeting Card, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

St. Louis Jazz at the Bistro

Finally, I’m bringing out this watercolor on a 5 x 7″ greeting card, blank inside with the following caption on the back:  Last August while visiting my hometown St. Louis, I came across this incredible edifice of a jazz club near the renovated Fox Theater.  Standing outside of it made me feel a sense of loss as I noted the darkened interior, and though the business had closed its doors.  As it turned out, the club was only closed for that month of August.  I paused that afternoon in silence, trying to conjure up in my memory the fading distant notes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie.  In my watercolor studies, I have made a few jabs at blues musicians and environments, but this is my first attempt at jazz, and hopefully not my last.

Finished Jazz at the Bistro, St. Louis, January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010

Jazz at the Bistro, St. Louis

I finished my second watercolor today.  This image was posted several days ago, when it was nearly complete.  Both watercolors finished today have been “in progress” for a couple of months now.  Too many interruptions and holiday-related events impeded my progress on them.  Delighted to be past them now, and ready for a new and fresh composition.  Maybe tomorrow . . .

January 4, 2010–St. Louis Jazz at the Bistro

January 5, 2010

Facade of a St. Louis Jazz Club

I have this watercolor about 99.5% finished now, so I thought I would go ahead and post it.  As noted in previous blogs, I feel a tug-of-war between the Andrew Wyeth/drybrush/neutral technique that has been my focus for some years now, over against the more recent Impressionist/plein air/saturated color technique that I have enjoyed.  My eye delights in both.

Last August while visiting my hometown St. Louis, I came across this incredible edifice of a jazz club near the renovated Fox Theater.  Standing outside of it made me feel a sense of loss as I noted the darkened interior, and thought the business had closed its doors.  As it turns out (see the post below) the club was closed for the month of August.  I paused that afternoon in silence, trying to conjure up in my memory the fading distant notes of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie.   In my watercolor sudies, I have made a few jabs at blues musicians and environments, but this is my first attempt at jazz, and hopefully not my last.

I look forward to visiting Jazz at the Bistro next time I visit St. Louis.  I’m ecstatic to know the place still thrives, and can’t wait to see the inside and hear what they have to bring.