I braved the ticks of New Jersey by laying naked in the grass.

Moonstruck

When I entered my paintings into the 6th Annual Naked in New Hope Exhibit sponsored by Sidetracks Gallery, I didn’t know I would be asked to send them a naked portrait of myself.  Five of my paintings have been accepted!  Fortunately I live in a somewhat secluded. rural area where Tom and I could tackle the challenge of capturing an acceptable photograph of my less than youthful body in the buff.  Tom’s idea was for me to lie in the overgrown grass beneath the dead tree limbs (scheduled to be turned into wood chips later this afternoon).  As other options, he had me pose beneath the pine tree (where I ended up covered with sticky sap) and in the cornfield where the leaves stuck to the sap on my bare body.  The overgrown grass and dead tree branch option is the one I’ve just sent to Sidetracks Gallery.  You’ll have to attend the event to see it.  Though I thought we would stick with just a shoulder shot, Tom did a great job of deception and the final photo is full body.  Oh my…….  what we do for the sake of art……

Painting: “Moonstruck”, 24″ x 39″ Watercolor on Arches Paper

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A Call for Artists came through in an email last night.  To my surprise, the exhibit (in a hospital gallery) will be of nudes.  As far as I can tell the “no breasts”, “no cracks” restriction does not apply!  I have entered two, large watercolors.

Autumn Nude, Acrylic on Canvas

At the end of the month I’ll sift through my studio, saving the strong work and disposing of the weak work to make room for new explorations.  Seeing Autumn Nude was like crossing paths again with an old friend.  The opportunity to return to full-time painting is a bit overwhelming.  My approach to the business of art will be quite different this time around.

Painting: Autumn Nude – Acrylic on Canvas – 22″ wide x 28″ high. Technique: Thrown Paint, Drips and Line Drawing

Even when I’m not quite in the right balance for ink and paint to flow, a few gems come home with me from the Tuesday Night Blues Jams.

Joe Mac at the Blues Jam

The portrait of Joe Mac is my favorite painting of the night.  Nothing seemed to be going right for me until he started playing and the hand responded.  My mind was in such a funk, I wasn’t sure if it worked or not.  The smile on Joe’s face when he saw it made the whole night worthwhile.

Drawn first with dip pen and black ink, followed by watercolor washes of cool blues and purples.

Postcards for the exhibit of the Blues Jam paintings at Connexions Gallery (opening reception onMarch 16th) didn’t make it in time for me to pass them around to the musician last night.  I’ll post info on Facebook and pass out postcards next Tuesday night.

Whew!  Thanks to the help of a dear friend, the 54 small paintings of musicians are now matted, framed, dust covers attached, and wired for hanging.  What a relief.  An additional 22 paintings are matted and slipped into clear bags.  They will be in a portfolio stand.

Rob Fraser and Roger Voss

The opening at Connexions Gallery in Easton, PA will be on April 16th at 7 pm. My hope is that the musicians I have painted will come to the exhibit and see what a fabulous inspiration they are.  The paintings are, in my mind, a collaboration between me and the musicians.  The passion for rhythms expressed through sound and the energy of all the people in the room responding to those sounds are the driving force behind my lines and brushstrokes.  The marks on the paper are my expression of those moments.

Ray Higgins, Steve, Joe Mac

On Sunday, May 15th at 2pm I will be giving an artist’s talk at the gallery.  I hope many of the musicians come out for both events.  Almost all of the paintings were done during the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam at the Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA during the last four months.  Unfortunately, Todd just left for a two month European tour last Wednesday and will miss the exhibit.

Both of the images posted above started with dip pen, black ink line drawings followed by strokes of watercolor allowed to blend wet in wet on the paper.