I had a fantastic and fruitful year of painting! After a trip to New York to check out art galleries in late 2014, I came back to the studio with the intent to push into new territory, deciding that 2015 would be my “Sargeant Pepper” year.
As I explained in a status line at the beginning of 2015, The Beatles conceived the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in an attempt to “kill off the Beatles”. The cover of the album depicts a funeral for The Beatles, brilliantly executed (pun intended) by collage artists Jann Howard and Peter Blake. Solemn looking wax figures of the Beatles, dressed in black, look down at a fresh gravesite covered in flowers that spell out the name “The Beatles”. The concept behind using the pseudonym, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, was to allow The Beatles the freedom to create as a completely new band not tied down or restricted by the band’s history and expectations.
As I look back on my 2015 body of work, I see some things that have always featured in my paintings, such as distortion of the human form, but I also note changes in my paintings that I would never have expected. In general, my paintings from the past year are more abstract, and a geometric thread seems to have made its way into some of the paintings. The geometric aspect may have arisen from the intent to focus on rhythm. As a drummer, rhythm has figured prominently in my life.
On reflection of my 2015 body of work, I was surprised to find that a few of my paintings had passages that resembled twisted Mondrians with hints of Stella and peppered with a bunch of tiny Rothkos. I have never consciously thought of any of those artists as influences but it is amazing what happens when you let go of preconceived notions of your own work. I am reminded of a quote from one of my favourite Steve Martin movies: LA Story, “Let your mind go and your body will follow.”
All of my paintings are fuelled by music. I ALWAYS listen to music when I paint. I typically work for many hours at a time. On typical a painting day, I wake up, eat breakfast and continue painting until well into the next morning; not only does my choice of music serve to inspire me, but it is sometimes a requirement to keep me awake!
Those of you who have seen status lines from my personal page over the past year will have noted that some artists come up more frequently than others. I would like to thank: Ben Folds, Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur, The Good Bad And The Queen, Monkey: Journey to the West.), St. Vincent, Regina Spektor, Tom Waits, Little Dragon, MIA, Cibo Matto, Ting Tings, Kanye West and Amada Palmer for keeping me company through many hours every week and for the inspiration.
I look forward to continuing my exploration in 2016.
I am grateful for all of your support and kind words throughout the years! Have a musical and art-filled 2016!