Archive for May 18th, 2012

A new painting  that is headed for my upcoming show , A Place to Stand, at the Principle Gallery , opening June 8.  This is a 12″ by 36″ canvas that carries the title Almost Blue, a title taken from the great Elvis Costello song.

I often talk about  the color blue as being addictive, about how difficult it is at times to pull myself away the color when I am working with it.  It is the yin to the yang of the reds and yellows I often work with in my paintings.  The reds and yellows are often bold in statement, claiming a small piece of the world as their own and making the case that they have meaning in this world.  The blues, however, don’t make such brash statements.  They create a different atmosphere, one that is quietly questioning why they are here in this world. Blue is a calm sense of wonder and reflection, almost melancholy at times. 

The Red Tree is here but its normally bold statement of self is enveloped in the blueness of the sky and landscape surrounding it, making it feel less like a statement than a question.  There is an uncertainty as to the whys and whats of its existence and the red of the tree seem almost ready to turn to blue.  It is almost blue.

I was going to have a video of either Elvis Costello or his wife, Diana Krall, doing the song here.  Both are fabulous.  But I came across this video of the late jazz great  Chet Baker doing the song in a performance taken from the film Let’s Get Lost, a documentary about his life made in 1988 not long before his death.  If you don’t know much about Chet Baker, you should really check out his bio.  It is the stuff of classic tragedies and will surely someday be the subject of a great film.  This version of the song  is a great expression of his existence and in the photos shown throughout the video you can see the toll that life, violence and drug abuse took on Baker over the years.

Almost Blue…


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