I’ve painted a cross section of musicians. Sure I remember Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendriks although I was too young to fully engage in the musical revolution that they were a large part of. They did however inspire my own mini rebellion against curfews, my wardrobe and a desire to party (even on school nights). The parents won but it was my first “cause” to fight.
I was old enough to see the Rolling Stones in concert; a memorable experience that opened my eyes to a whole new world of growing up. “Bad” was indeed good sometimes. When I listen to their music today, I marvel at the energy Mick Jagger and Keith Richards still have. They are older than me! That’s inspiration.
Sometimes friends ask me to paint certain people. That’s where the country artists came from. I have a friend who has made Blake Shelton (and Don Lemon – more on him later) her virtual boyfriends through Covid. Right before Covid, another friend and I saw Keith Urban in concert (this might be the last concert I ever see live - aaaah!) and it was by far one of the best concerts I’d ever attended. I had to paint them both.
The democratic and republican virtual conventions, followed by the debates, filled countless hours of network television through the late summer and fall of 2020. Not surprisingly, many contemporary musicians have become vocal in favour of certain parties and political leaders and lent their fame and music to their campaigns. That’s what inspired my paintings of John Legend and Billie Eilish who both supported the democratic ticket. John Legend (with Common) performed “Glory”.
I would be remis not to mention Ari Melber, lawyer and MSNBC anchor of “The Beat” in the musician category instead of later under “Network News”. Never slow to throw out the lyrics of some well known musician’s song to describe the behaviour of a politician, Ari often has musicians on his political news show to discuss current affairs. Just as Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendriks were visionary and deep in their views of the world, so are many of today’s musicians. It’s a breath of fresh air to watch “The Beat” and hear someone other than a politician offer an assessment of todays’ political scene. Many of them should be running for office!
A good friend of mine is a lawyer. She’s one of my friends “in my bubble” now that Covid restrictions have been partially lifted. Where I live this means she can visit me as long as we socially distance. We watch Ari together. I’m learning more about lawyering; she’s learning more about music.