Actually, everything I do is an experiment. As you know I'm self-taught and didn't start painting until after retirement. This was painted a few years ago on canvas for watercolor. It's very different from painting on paper and I might try it again because you don't need to buy a frame for the painting. My three favorite flowers are here: roses, irises, and sunflowers.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sammy Davis, Jr., one of the most talented performers in the world. He was an actor, singer, dancer, and impressionist. He could do it all.
From a picture on the cover on Legacy Magazine.
Mr. Bojangles is on my ipod and I play it frequently. Whenever I hear the song, I see Sammy's life.
"Mr. Bojangles" is a popular song written and recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 and covered by many other artists. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took the song to #9 on the Billboard pop chart in 1971.
The song was inspired by an encounter with a street performer in the New Orleans first precinct jail and not the famous stage and movie dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson nor the New Orleans blues musician Babe Stovall.
According to Walker, a murder on the 4th July weekend of 1965 precipitated the arrest of all the street people in the area. In the crowded cell, a disheveled homeless old man began to talk to Walker who had been arrested earlier for drunkenness. The man told various stories of his life but the tone darkened after 'Mr Bojangles' recalled his dog who'd been run over. Someone then asked for something to lighten the mood and the man obliged with a tap dance.
Walker mentions that all the men in the cell had nicknames to prevent easy identification by the police. The dancer's nickname was 'Mr Bojangles'. In his autobiography 'Gypsy Songman', Walker makes it clear the man he met was white. Further, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 in August 2008 he pointed out that, at the time, the jail cells in New Orleans were segregated along color lines.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Just trying something different with a portrait.
Most of my work is experimental because I am self-taught and didn't make any attempts to produce anything until after retirement. It may seem funky, but to me art is what you feel. I was trying to find a new way to do portraits, rather than just focusing on a face. But I will continue doing just faces. Later this week I will post one I'm finishing of Sammy Davis, Jr.
I've tried doing portraits with watercolor but I cannot get the face colors right and end up losing all detail. I really enjoy drawing with a pencil because it is so portable.
UPDATE - I think the player's last name was Taylor. I didn't know him and had never heard of him, but when I read his story after he was murdered, I was overcome with grief. I couldn't get him out of my mind. I saw strength in him and mountains represent strength to me.