Okay, so I think it’s safe to say, at this point, that I have an inferiority complex when it comes to music. My wife laughs, because whenever I describe my vision for my “dream painting studio,” I always say “and then, if the studio gets enough momentum, then, then we can have Irish bands come in, and there can be bluegrass, and, and, and some old guy who bobs his head like a pigeon when he plays the upright bass!” I’m absolutely fine with this inferiority complex, in believing music to be the highest art form. I’m not in awe of science, it oftentimes bores me with its testtubeyness. But music, ah, it’s nice to be forever in awe of something, and to regards its creation as something resembling voodoo.
This painting came about something like this. I’ve spent the past few spring evenings with my sons, going on long bike rides, wandering the beaches of the south shore, picking up shells. I taught my two year old son, Evan, how to hang his head over the ends of a dock, and to spit. He laughed hysterically, as we watched our saliva float away on the surface of the water. A day or so later, as I went about my usual work in the studio, I thought of how music can depict a moment like this, the joy of a moment. And then, I decided that I wanted to paint this, in a still life. I was feeling still lifey. And so, naturally, I grabbed my violin, set it down on a table, and set up my canvas. The painting needed more, to convey this feeling. Ah ha- I decided to grab my favorite article of furniture in the world, my blue chair. The provenance of the blue chair is simply divine. It was hand made, by the Whittenburg brothers, in a woodshop in late eighteenth century Concord, New Hampshire, where they hand hewn the Maldives mahogany timbers, lacquered the wood, and distressed a superbly exquisite patina of lapis lazuli, reminiscent of the Dusseldorf Germanic Carpenters who practiced cabinetry in late seventeenth century Philadelphia. I acquired it in a simply marvelous antique shop in Lyme, Connecticut, where I spent a small fortune on the treasure. I’m lying. It is a worthless, old, blue chair that I found in pieces, lying in an overgrown patch of woods. I picked it up, threw it in my truck, slapped it together with wood glue and drywall screws and… I think it is the most beautiful blue I’ve ever come across, especially when paired with the glowing red of my violin.
The composition was not done yet. Hmm, I thought. Perhaps I’d like to paint my boots. As if I’ve never done that before. I set them on the chair. Hmmm. I’ll paint my books instead. I paused.
How about- my books, my boots, my favorite blue chair, and my favorite lager, all in the same painting?