As I sorted through drawings and paintings I found a sketch I had done of John Anthony Franklin, alias Johnny Dock, musician and owner of the Raubsville Inn in 2004-2005 when I returned to painting musicians in bars and restaurants.

John Anthony Franklin, alias 'Johnny Dock'

Those were wonderful years.  My abstract oil paintings filled the rooms at the Raubsville Inn.  Four nights a week I painted at various bars throughout the Lehigh Valley.  My heart was filled with music, both fresh music composed the night before and music that had weathered decades, still sounding vibrant and alive.

I have spent the last 48 hours matting and framing paintings for the show at Connexions Gallery.  Most of them are from the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam on Tuesday nights at the Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA.  Some of them are from the time when the Raubsville Inn and Maria’s open mic at Porters Pub were alive and pulsing.  That was before the floods that shut down the Inn.  That was before a return to college for Maria and before Baer was born. That was before Tom’s heart attack. Those times were great times…. and so are these times, just different.

The tough times show me what it is I love the most as an artist.  It is what I make time for even when I don’t have the time to make for it.  Though I have had major solo exhibits, this upcoming show at Connexions means more to me.  I love capturing the moment when energy is high, especially group energy such as musicians playing together or dancers dancing together.  I hope that the musicians will come to see how they have inspired me.  My own heartbeat is present in these paintings.  It merges with the beat of the music and the energy that drives the musicians to come out and play together after a long day’s work.

Thank you, my dear friends, for picking up your instruments and playing for me.

 

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