Retro inspired, folk pop-rock with an all original cast of songs and characters. The Musical Charis painting was inspired by the front woman Jessie Abbey.
Musician Evan Plant modeled live for this painting, inspiring the quiet stillness that happens in the absence of active playing.
Celebrating 80+ years of business, The Old Ironsides has rightfully claimed the local, live music spotlight. Painting also inspired by Brian Jennings, guitarist.
With 17 members total, Element Brass Band brings new life and energy to the New Orleans Second Line. Musicians shown in painting includes founder Byron Colborn on Sax, Anthony Coleman on Trumpet, Brandon Au on Trombone and Joby Morrow on Trombone.
With a deep love and style for classic rock n roll, Marcus Cortez played lead guitar/vocals with several bands including We Prick You, Darling Sweatheart, Black Tar Caviar, and Strange Tongues.
Terra Lopez's haunting vocals and ecstatic live performance presence make Sister Crayon's lamenting, trip-hop unforgettable. Buy their albums and catch them on tour here.
With an original vision encompassing the lush power of live strings melded with the rhythmic density of indie rock, Exquisite Corps is the perfect marriage of classic and modern. Painting includes Bryan Valenzuela on guitar/lead vocals and Krystyna Taylor on cello.
Born in Barbados, his music is a melodic infusion of the West Indies, Alternative Rock and Jazz. Clemon's voice carries a sultry and raspy style that makes his sound unique like a folk singer. Anyone who has ever met Clemon Charles is struck by his magnetism, glow, and generous heart.
As a singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, flutist, and xylophonist, Ricky Berger's music is described as bubbly pop with a jazz twist, or better yet... Disney after dark.
The inspiration for the series began in 2011 with an ink sketch at The Old Ironsides, one of the oldest live music venues in Sacramento. As the musicians performed--arching and contorting their bodies to the music vibrating throughout the room-- I allowed my pen to dance almost trance-like over the page. Sketching "blindly" I rarely took my eyes off the subject to check the accuracy of the drawing, trying instead to capture the true essence of their sudden, unpredictable movements. Over the next several months, I explored many of Sacramento's live music venues (The Torch Club, Harlow's, The Shady Lady Saloon, Beatnik Studios, Luna's Cafe, Blue Lamp, etc.) and quickly filled six sketchbooks with over 450 drawings. The result was a collection of works almost zen-like in its lyricism.
While the sketches succeeded as present tense studies of movement, I ultimately wanted the Musicians of Midtown series to invoke the distinctive feel of the musical genres being performed. The challenge became: how do I visually describe an aural experience? I began to ask myself what the vibration of a plucked string might look like, how could the sound from a symphonic rock band look different from funk or pop music, and how does color affect our feelings like musical notes do? Taking my sketches from live performances to my studio, I began to work out these questions in oil paint. Starting with a black canvas (to represent the dark stage before a live performance) I played musical recordings of the band I was painting to set the energy for the piece. I used sketches and sometimes a few photos as visual references and choose colors and brushwork to mimic the feeling of the music. By roughly jabbing at the canvas in moments of loud intensity or lilting and twirling the paint with the crooning of a note, I often found myself dancing at the easel, trying to keep my tendencies for tight realism at bay. I chose my subjects based on the friendships that developed over the year and a half it took me to create the series. I chose them to represent the diversity of race, gender, and musical genres that make the local Sacramento music scene so vibrant.
The Musicians of Midtown series had its debut at Gallery 2110 in February, 2012 and was celebrated in the Sacramento Press as "Art paying homage to Art." My hope is that the Musicians of Midtown series will inspire an appreciation and support for all of the artists living and working in our local communities. This series is meant to be both seen and heard. Listen here.
Sacramento lies at the convergence of the two major rivers that help feed the delta system of Northern California. As the state capital, Sacramento has one of the most diverse populations in America and boasts a vibrant culinary, cultural, arts, and music scene. When I moved to Midtown Sacramento, exploring the surrounding waterways, neighborhoods, and nightlife became a natural extension of my art. The experience inspired 3 new series: Responding to Rivers, Streets of Midtown, and the Musicians of Midtown. The paintings in both the Responding to Rivers series and the Streets of Midtown series were created in documentary fashion using photographs for reference. Each painting captured a real moment in time and place. The Musicians of Midtown series was much more experimental in its attempt to capture the feeling of live music.