Heart and Soul


15 1/2 X 26”
Watercolor on Saunders Waterford 260# Hot Press

Music is a deep thing for me. As a child, it was one of the few ways I was allowed to show emotion. I didn't play the piano when I practiced; I lived it. I was the piano, the music, the far-flung stars. My blood ran through the keys. To this day, Fur Elise played with the exquisite emotion it was written for still stops my heart. So when I paint a musician's portrait, I want to be Moved.

Ben is a quiet young man, and the lighting where I photographed him matched that. So the painting started out quiet on quiet. I thought that was fine with me when I started, and was enjoyable. That's all. I found myself preparing to work on it as a thing to be accomplished, to be finished and done.

That's a red, flashing, warning sign: "Boring. Boring. Learning Nothing Here." Time for Ted Nuttall's "most dangerous thing". I decided to make good on my promise the other day to paint skin tones faster and plunged in with swaths of reds and oranges, bold accents of green, and then deep violin darks.

And oh, honey, the excitement was back! I'm painting music now!

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