Posts Tagged ‘Rod Stewart’

And if they had the words I could tell to you
To help you on your way down the road
I couldn’t quote you no dickens, shelley or keats
‘Cause it’s all been said before
Make the best out of the bad, just laugh it off
You didn’t have to come here anyway, so remember
Every picture tells a story don’t it?

I wrote yesterday that I was extra busy getting ready for my upcoming West End Gallery show, that opens in three weeks, on July 12. Well, nothing has changed so I am just going to share a song that has been running through my head since yesterday morning. It’s Every Picture Tells a Story from the 1971 Rod Stewart album of the same name. I am not the biggest Rod Stewart fan but at that point in time he was really dealing and this song is an absolute gem.

I included a new smaller piece from the show. This song made me think about this painting. There is definitely a narrative in it. What story does it tell? I am thinking of a title of One and Many Lives for it. I see the Red Tree in the central panel as moving from one house to the other, a symbolic transition. We may have one life but we are often many people within it.

There’s a story in there somewhere.

Got work to do. Have yourself a good and great day.

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mark_rothkoIt is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted […] There is no such thing as good painting about nothing.

Mark Rothko


I have often said, often without much grace, that the subject for a painting is secondary, not really that important so long as the painting says something, expresses feeling and evokes emotion within the viewer.  I think the work of Mark Rothko is a good example of this sentiment. They are simple of blocks of opposing colors set one over the other or, as in the case of the piece above, one alongside another.

Seemingly without subject.

Seemingly about nothing.

But as Rothko states, there is no such thing as a good painting about nothing.  And this is a good painting.  It allows the viewer’s own emotions into its space, lets their own story become the story and subject of this work.  That space is the subject and purpose of this work.

So, every picture does tell a story.  Some dictate the story, forcing the viewer to follow a set storyline through the picture as though they were the plot of a murder-mystery novel.  Others do so like a song or poetry, evoking feeling with a suggestion or a gentle nudge.  The viewer here is complicit in the fulfillment of the art.

For myself, I prefer the latter but have enjoyed works with more obvious subjects.  Perhaps not as deeply felt but enjoyable nonetheless.  I still question where my work falls on this scale.  I am sure it has been both and I know I am much more satisfied when it appears more poetic.  But being able to dictate the nature of the work is often beyond me.  It sometimes appears in the poetic form seemingly on its own, without my direction.

And that is most satisfying.  And elusive.

All this being said is mere pretense for this week’s Sunday Morning Music.  It’s a cover of Rod Stewart‘s classic song, Every Picture Tells a Story, done by the Georgia Satellites back in 1986.  I always liked their version of this song and hope it’ll kick off your Sunday on a high note.  Have a great day!

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Long John Baldry - Everything Stops For Tea a.jpg-for-web-xlargeSunday morning and I just finished my coffee/protein get-me-started drink and now am working on my first cup of tea for the day.  Something soothing in the whole idea of tea. Maybe it’s the slowness of it, the steeping and sipping  associated with it that attracts me. One of my favorite moments of the day is finishing my cup of tea after breakfast and holding the china cup, feeling the warmth radiate through its thin walls.  There’s something meditative in that.

That brings me neatly to this week’s Sunday morning musical choice which features tea as its central theme.  It’s a song called Everything Stops For Tea from the 1972 album of the same title from the late British blues/rocker Long John Baldry, who in the early 1960’s put into motion the careers of a number of what were to be large stars such as Elton John and Rod Stewart.  I liked this album from the moment I first saw it– must have been the colorful cover that is at the top of the page here.

But I loved the music as well, especially the title track which is Baldry’s cover of a song made popular in Britain in the 1930’s by Jack Buchanan,  a Scottish actor/singer known for his debonair man-about-town roles in the theatre and on film.  Oddly enough for a song concerning one of the most British of things, the song was written  three Americans– Maurice Sigler, Al Goodheart and Al Hoffman.

Regardless, it’s a fun song that I often find myself humming at odd times.  Give a listen and maybe have a cuppa while you’re at it.  Most of all, have a great Sunday.


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Itchycoo Park

HarlequinIt’s a busy Saturday morning as I try to finish up a group of work and hit the road this coming Monday.  There’s always a bunch of little things, details, that have to be tied up that seem to take longer than I would imagine.

I’m dropping off new work in Alexandria and Asheville this trip, something I do a couple of times a year.  It’s basically a driving marathon with a few stops in between but it gives me a chance to have a face to face with the galleries and tell a bit about  the new work.  It also gives me a chance to just drive and think which is always different for me than thinking in the studio or at home.  It’s a different rhythm with different stimuli.  Sometimes it’s good.  Sometimes it’s just driving.

Anyway, on this cold morning, here’s some old Small Faces, before the addition of Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart and the evolution to simply Faces.  I use this song, Itchycoo Park, because it always feels like I’m back as a kid in a car, riding along  in my parent’s Chevy in the 60’s when I hear this, listening to it through that single speaker in the dash. It wasn’t state of the art sound, but that was how we heard a lot of great music…

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