“Electric Acoustic”

"Electric Acoustic", by Robert Leedy, watercolor on Arches Hot Press paper, 22.5" x 22".

[click on the above image to get a really nice enlarged version!]

I love music. I cannot live without it. I own several thousand CD’s which I listen to constantly (thanks to the iPod and my exhaustive effort of digitizing my collection). Sadly, all of the bricks & mortar music stores are closing down because they decided they can’t rely on me alone to make a living.

I am one of those unfortunate souls who is doomed to musical klutzdom. I really admire those painter friends of mine who can pick up a guitar or sit down to a piano and rip away. I mean, c’mon, I’m in the artist family! I can draw, paint, cook, write and even take a pretty good photo. (oh yeah, my wife says I’m a pretty good actor, that is, when I believe I am sick.) So, why can’t I play an instrument? A musician friend of mine says my ear is very good and that I should have been a producer but that certainly wouldn’t quench a musical thirst at all.

I have noticed lately how my musician friend and I have a similar creative process. Painting and music are not that far apart. In fact, we speak the same creative language – only with certain words swapped out. I’ve even had a painter friend tell me that my art is very musically structured – in a matter of timing and placement. Interesting connection…

Yet, I am lucky if I can run through the bass line of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed & Confused” on a ukelele without screwing it up. Oh! And I can play the first few lines of Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “You Got to Move” on a harmonica! [SIGH...]

And on vacation, I was so excited that Apple’s GarageBand was available as an App for the iPad. Vicky shook her head in disbelief as I spent the entire plane ride to San Juan creating my own avante garde Musical Suite for Two Yo-Yo’s in A-minor. She just doesn’t get it.

I was thrilled to be asked by fellow painter and fellow Southlight Gallery artist, Kathy Stark, to show my work during an upcoming local concert with jazz guitarist Earl Klugh and singer Nnenna Freelon. Kathy is on the board of Riverside Fine Arts Series who is sponsoring the concert. The concert is Friday, November 18th. You can purchase tickets and read more about the artists at Riverside Fine Arts Series web site

I just completed the above painting, “Electric Acoustic”. I had a lot of fun with the guitar’s fretboard and as I worked from a photo I took, I was navigating around all of the wires until I decided to keep them in the painting and actually accentuate them. I think I even added more than there really were. I like the close cropping which really throws the viewer into the action. The painting started out in a limited palette but with Robert Leedy in charge of the paintbrush, that idea did not last very long.

This painting, along with many others will be on view during the concert Friday night. I hope you can make it. I also may be painting live if I can find an out of the way corner…

Earl Klugh – acoustic guitar
Nnenna Freelon – vocals
Robert Leedy – sable hair brush 


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