Last night I met Maria Woodford’s mentor, the amazing blues singer/songwriter, Gaye Adegbalola!  Gaye and Roddy Barnes (stunning piano and vocals) performed last night at Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair, NJ.  Over the top!  I’m still smiling….

Roddy and Gaye setting up

Roddy Barnes on piano

Three Muses, Marci, Gaye and Gloria

Incredible musicians and fabulous performers!  When the evening ended, I wanted it to start all over again.

Sketchbook drawings: drawn first with fountain pen filled with Noodler’s Black Ink, followed by Peerless Watercolors applied with waterbrush.

I should have been at a jam, painting my friends making music together.  Instead, I was at ArtWalk in downtown Bethlehem on Memorial Day Weekend (when everyone has left town) in the middle of a thunderstorm.  Sitting outside with one’s art is not the best choice in the pouring rain.  Fortunately, I was able to move inside and spend a couple of ours catching up with a good friend, Gayle, who was minding the shop at Artfully Elegant.  Thanks to Gayle, I didn’t go home and slit my throat.

When I find myself at the end of a rope ….. any rope ….. I tell myself that the answer to my problem is simply to get better at what I do.

New and old drawing tools

The trumpet parts had not lined up well in Trumpet Parts No. 87.  First thing this morning, I made myself a grid guide (inspired by the one I saw in Nikolay’s hand at a plein air event last month).  I carefully drew the bent trumpet part, checking and correcting…. checking and correcting. I even hunted down two erasers.  I rarely use an eraser.  Hah!  The parts lined up! I’m sure you can’t tell in this photo.  I incuded my Waterman Phileas fountain pen, and the great leather case (contribution from Nicole), in the photo because it’s about to make its mark on the paper.  Hopefully I haven’t destroyed the surface too much with all my erasures.  I’m not used to drawing in pencil first …. then inking.  I much prefer to start right in with ink and go where my eye leads me, even if it’s down a winding, nonsensical path.

As I near the end of this series of One Hundred Drawings of Trumpet Parts I am faced with a dilemma. A little voice inside my head continues to whisper “Do what you love and the money will come.”  Do what I love?  Should I start another 100 drawings of my bent trumpet parts?

What do I love to draw and paint?  I love drawing dancers in motion, musicians playing …. alone or with others ….. I love throwing paint and bringing nude figures out of the splotches and splatters …. I love plein air painting.  I love starting the day with an ink contour drawing of my bent trumpet parts and adding color with watercolor.

What do I love the most?  Right now I would have to say that it is painting to live music …. letting my dip pen dance across the paper and the watercolor flow over the ink to the patterns and rhythm of the music.  Is there a market for such a thing?  I doubt it.

What I find absurd is that all the other drawing and painting I do is just an exercise to get better at drawing and painting so that I can respond completely intuitively to that incredible moment of motion, rhythms and patterns I experience when listening to live music.

A huge thanks to all the musicians who have created those magical moments for me to attempt to express.

I didn’t really care about selling paintings last night at ArtWalk, I just wanted to share them with friends and strangers.  Of the two people who walked by, one of them made it worth the week of matting and the lugging back and forth of the art.  She looked at the paintings and said ” How strange ….. when I look at these, I actually hear the music.”  She pointed to one ….. “I can hear the jazz of New Orleans in this one!”

Thank you!

Last night was the last of the Artsquest RiverJazz performances.  The Saucon Valley High School Jazz Ensemble opened for the Kevin Eubanks Jazz Band.  Another fabulous night of music !

Rene Camacho playing stand up bass with Kevin Eubanks

My favorite painting of the night is of Rene Camacho playing his unusual stand up bass.

I’ve posted the rest of the paintings on my ‘Chris Carter Artist’ Facebook page.  SteelStacks RiverJazz Musicians

Sketch: drawn first with dip pen followed by watercolor

I received an email this evening letting me know that my paintings from last Saturday night’s performance at SteelStacks in Bethlehem have been posted on the Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s blog.

Ernie Elly, Preservation Hall Jazz Band

My first introduction to Jazz was the Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans when I was eight years old.  That was one of those significant moments in my life, the beginning of a lifetime love of jazz and the energy of New Orleans.  You can imagine what a thrill it was to be granted permission to paint the current members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and even a greater honor to have my paintings posted on their blog!

Here’s a link to the post:  Paintings of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performing at SteelStacks River Jazz in Behtlehem.

Ink Line Drawing: Drawn with dip pen using Waterman Havana Brown Ink. “Ernie Elly, drummer, Preservation Hall Jazz Band”

I went home with twenty paintings from last night’s performance at SteelStacks Cabaret.  Boyertown High School Jazz Band opened for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  I imagine there were many proud parents in the audience.  What an honor to open for the likes of the New Orlean’s based Jazz Band.  I was eight years old when I saw the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for the first time.

Rickie Monie playing ‘His eye is on the Sparrow’

I ended up with more ink drawings than ink and watercolor drawings.  I liked the lines when I felt they captured the character of the musician.  I didn’t feel the impulse to dip my brush into the watercolor.  Instead, I grabbed a clean sheet of paper to capture the next moment in ink lines.

To view more of the drawings and paintings visit the RiverJazz album on my facebook page: Chris Carter Artist.

Drawing:  drawn with dip pen using Waterman Havana Brown ink.

Another painting from last night …. the audience eating and drinking before the performance by Walter Trout and the Radicals, Artsquest RiverJazz 2012.

Before the show began… SteelStacks Cabaret

Still more to come ….. I’m headed to the scanner now.

Painting: line drawing drawn first with dip pen using Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses Ink followed by watercolor.

Fabulous night at the Walter Trout and the Radicals concert at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

Walter Trout and the Radicals at SteelStacks RiverJazz

Awesome music, great venue.  I was permitted to paint on a table in the back …. perfect!  My carrying case worked like a charm.  Thank you …. Walter Trout, Michael Leasure,Rick Knapp and Sammy Avila!  Great music.

Painting:  ink and watercolor