Last night I worked only in my sketchbooks using pencil or fountain pen, sometimes coloring with Peerless Watercolor Papers and a waterbrush.  The venue (Black and Blue in Easton, PA)

is difficult.  The only view of the musicians is from the four, small, round tables next to the bar.  I would rather share the tiny table with my friends than hog the surface for my paints.

Billy Lance and George Kokolis playing saxophone

My favorite of the night is a toss up between the brief ink sketch of Billy and George, a subdued portrait of Joe Mac and a pencil drawing of Todd Lanka with two strokes of watercolor.

Joe Mac

Todd Lanka playing bass

Sketches: Top – Fountain pen filled with North African Violet ink

Middle – pencil and watercolor

Bottom – pencil and watercolor

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It’s not true that all good things must end.

Rob Fraser, Steve Decker, Chas Cochran

Next week may be the last of the Tuesday Night Blues Jams at Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA.  That doesn’t mean it’s the last of the Blues Jams.  New location perhaps.  Change is not a bad thing.  Sometimes it shakes out the cobwebs.

I’m hoping to get to The Grisly Pear in New York City every other week.  That leaves two weeks free to explore new options within about forty minutes of my home so that I don’t fall asleep driving back to New Jersey.

Several of last night’s paintings ended up in primary colors.  I like the vitality.

Dutchman singing Boop Boop ....

Paintings: Drawn first with black ink using dip pen, followed by watercolor.

As an artist, one of the biggest challenges is being flexible yet disciplined about my priorities.

Justine Gardner playing bass at the Blues Jam

I want to thank all the musicians who take the time to come out to Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant for the Tuesday Night, Todd Wolfe Blues Jam to play three songs, sometimes but not always having the opportunity to play one or two more.  For me, listening to you, watching you, laughing with you and painting you makes that challenge of balancing the rest of my life so much easier.

painting: drawn first in black ink with a dip pen, followed by strokes of watercolor using a simple, primary palette of yellow, blue and red.

While the paintings dried on the windowsill, I untied my shoes and joined Lisa and Beckey on the dance floor. Beckey’s face was all smiles, her first dance since her knee replacement!

Barry Zion at the Blues Jam

Before too long fancy stepping gentlemen joined us, partners were tossed back and forth and a great time was had by all.  A rare and wonderful night at the Blues Jam to have the dance floor filled with happy feet.  I am sad that Oli left too early to join us.  She is the main force behind getting people to dance.

Barry stole the attention of pen and brush.  His visits from Atlanta are too infrequent.  Always great to see and hear him.

Painting: Drawn first with black ink using dip pen, followed by watercolor.

Great to be back at the Blues Jam.

Rob Fraser, Blues Jam July 19, 2011

Before my pen touched the paper it already announced itself on the paper by dropping a splot of ink on it.  I hesitated for a second or two deciding whether or not to discard the paper.  Laughing at myself for even imagining that a splot was a problem I continued.  It ended up being my favorite painting of the evening.  I need a bit of simplicity in my life right now.

Ink and watercolor sketch on Arches Watercolor Paper. Painted during the Tuesday Night, Todd Wolfe Blues Jam at Larry Holmes Ringside Restaurant in Easton, PA.  If you are in the area on a Tuesday night, check it out.

Tom bought a variety pack of Flying Dog Beer to enjoy over the 4th of July weekend.  The beer was spectacular and the labels both stunning and entertaining.

I’m sending out the word…. I want my images to be used on labels of wine, beer or single malt scotch.  I’m not as clever as the writers for the scotch and Flying Dog Beer, but I bet someone out there could do an awesome job, coupled with the ink and watercolor sketches.

Harp Lager

How about it Harp?

Lost Dutchman Lager

Maybe offer a CD of Dan Dutchman Diefenderfer playing blues harp.

CD Cover, Six Odes to Single Malts

Or maybe a CD cover inspired by Saxophone Single Malt Scotch.  Link to Six Odes to Single Malts.

Napa Nick Cabernet

Full bodied, extra dry bold cabernet with cherry overtones.

I’d buy them, wouldn’t you?

Paintings: ink and watercolor painted during the Tuesday Night Blues Jams in Easton, PA.

Mike Van Tine stood in for Rob Fraser last night at the Todd Wolfe Blues Jam. Not much of a likeness, I know.  Perhaps I glimpsed a bit of his inner soul.. maybe not.  Regardless, I love the lines.

Mike Van Tine at Blues Jam

The ink and watercolor portrait of Leon is another favorite.  I wish I had peacock blue on my palette to do justice to his awesome shirt.

Leon singing the Blues

I had one of my worst days ever at the prop shop and almost canceled going to the Blues Jam.  What was I thinking? It’s painting to the music that keeps me going all week long.  Thank you, musicians!  A few new faces last night.  I’m glad I didn’t miss them.  19 year old Mike Lefton was a real treat, what a fantastic musician and performer.

This is my first post using my Mac!

Drawing of Mike Van Tine: Ink using dip pen on watercolor paper

Drawing of Leon: Ink using dip pen followed by watercolor