Fiddle at the Festival
I love to paint people doing the things they love most. Musicians are without question my favorite subject. My first real encounter with buskers (street musicians) was in the New York City subway. I came across more talented musicians offering up their melodies for passersby in places like New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, Kansas City, and Chicago. Street music is an equal opportunity experience for everyone, from the well healed tourists and people moving through their workday, to the homeless person resting on a park bench. Later, I realized that busking provides more opportunities for musicians as well. It’s an independent way to offer a musical vision to the public. I have fallen in love with the idea of music that can be poured into in our everyday lives, stopping us in our tracks (at least for a moment) and infusing us with a little reminder that life is here to enjoy.
I found Kenzie Maynard playing at the 2016 Columbus Arts Festival. I instantly knew that I wanted to paint her. It is a joy to celebrate music and the arts here in my own home town. The Columbus Arts Festival is a wonderful mix of sights and sounds and tastes. And people are just plain having fun together.
I work primarily in oil because I love the buttery texture of the paint. I treat my canvas as though it is a kind of tapestry. My goal is to weave bits and pieces of paint together to create something that speaks of a real life moment. If my strokes relay the feeling of sound and movement, then all the better. As years go by, I have noticed an increasing looseness in style. I believe that attempting to paint “music making” has been the primary influence for this change.
In my travels along the Blues Highway, I found focus on a subject that touches me deeply. Eventually I realized that great music can be found everywhere, in theaters and taverns, on the street, in the nooks and crannies of our towns and cities, in our living rooms and on our front porches. Columbus music is alive and thriving, and I am honored to paint it it best I can.