Posts Tagged ‘Lyle Lovett’


And now the mystery masked man was smart
He got himself a Tonto
‘Cause Tonto did the dirty work for free
But Tonto he was smarter
And one day said, “Kemo sabe
Kiss my ass I bought a boat
I’m going out to sea”

Lyle Lovett, If I Had a Boat

The painting at the top is a new one, a 12″ by 24″ canvas, that I am calling Breakout. It’s headed to the West End Gallery as part of my upcoming solo show, Moments and Color, that opens in a couple of weeks, on July 12.

These boat paintings might well be my favorites to paint. I think it’s the simplicity in the design that makes this so. There are so few elements that I have to really focus on subtleties of color and shape to create a sense of motion and emotion in the work. Everything has to be right, has to be properly harmonized with the whole.

That sounds kind of nebulous, I know. But a line straying here or there can make you question the credibility of the whole thing and keep you from allowing your mind to fully embrace the piece. For example, while I don’t know a thing about how waves  break on the sea, I feel that the curves of the wave have to make sense. They must have that sense of rightness that I often mention here, the one that allows your brain to easily absorb what is being communicated.

Wow, that sounds even more nebulous.

Let’s just leave it as this: I like these paintings and the exhilaration of freedom they possess. I am not a sailor but I certainly understand the primal appeal and romance of feeling yourself in harmony with the great forces of the wind and water.

Here’s a favorite song from so long ago. God, it’s hard to believe it is over thirty years old. It’s If I Had a Boat from Lyle Lovett‘s wonderful 1987 album, Pontiac. It’s a song that has always had a great calming effect for me and it pretty much fits the feeling I get in this painting.

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The ServantThis is a little exercise that I did when I was first painting and still working as a waiter at a Perkins restaurant.  I call it The Servant and it sort of sums up my time as a waiter, except for the fact that  I never wore tails when serving pancakes.  It was a great learning experience however.  I think everyone should wait tables for a while.  Teaches humility.  

I remember going to some openings and being praised for the work.  “Oh, this is so wonderful” this and  “You’re doing great stuff” that to the point my head barely fit in my car to drive home.  Then the next morning I was pouring coffee for a factory worker or a trucker and I would realize that for most people my so-called triumph was an absolute nothing.  Didn’t matter and never would.  

My head returned quickly to its normal size and would resume my duties as a server, all the time whistling and humming tunes in my head to pass the time.  Here’s one from Lyle Lovett that was a favorite back then and still is.

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