Billy Lance’s American Flag sweater stole my attention and made my brush dip and dance from palette to paper.

Billy Lance Playing Saxophone on Fat Tuesday 2011

Later in the evening, after I’d cleaned up and the little paintings were drying on the windowsill, Leon showed up wearing Mardi Gras beads and an awesome shirt.  I wished the night were younger and I could have stayed a little later.

Throughout most of the evening I found myself fighting the impulse to use too much water on my brush.  Saturated colors with a few hard edges here and there are so much more fun than soft, washed out blurriness that works occasionally for landscape but certainly not for musicians playing the blues.  Several of the paintings ended up in the trash before my head hit the pillow last night.  Usually I don’t throw any away until morning when I look at them in the light with fresh eyes.

Billy’s sweater kicked my brush back into intensity mode and kept it out of the water bucket!  The sweater is a treasure purchased “many years ago” in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Painting: Dip pen in black ink followed by watercolor washes.  Painted live during the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam at the Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA on Fat Tuesday, 2011