Friday, February 2, 2018

two hundred ninety

The first strokes
"Can you draw this image for me?"  It's a question often posed to those of us who are mark makers and paintbrush pushers.  Sometimes the question comes kinda like a grade school playground challenge -- "well can you draw an elephant on a unicycle jousting a badger in a tu tu?" (Not a bad idea.)  

A curious aspect of making commissioned art is that sometimes you are being asked to create something that doesn't exist -- and there's the thrill for me -- and then comes the commission parameters, "It needs to be this height; this color; only in sharpie; the image of the unicorn need to convey a feeling of day-trading."  

I love that art is visual communication.  If you could say it with words or dance or music, then do so.  And each form has it's limits and beautiful aspects.  A musical friend of mine, Aaron Price hollered at me last fall, "can you create an image of a church on a hill for an album cover of solo hymns on piano?"  He and I worked together before.  We're mutual admirers of each others' creativity and have been for nearly 20 years.  Heck yeah.  

ill spec spoof (dig the fake barcode)
The project begins.  He provides me rough mixes of several songs to absorb and be inspired by.  I send him initial sketches.  Having worked together on another album cover, we kinda know what to expect.  With a bit of the ole back and forth, a workable interpretation of "a church on a hill" that Aaron envisioned comes forth.  

The project gets finalized with further tweaks and design layout by Mr. Phil Cheney of Cheney Graphics, another solid creative mind up in Western, NC.  We are getting close to the final image.  

The next time I see Aaron, its right before the winter holidays.  We trade smiles and he shows me a big stack of the final product.  His vision for the jewel-case cover included it looking like a well-used leather hymnal cover that's embossed with my artwork.   It looks great.  And the music sounds even better.  Check out "Offering" via Soundcloud.  Thanks for the spirited music, Aaron!
The maestro and his music

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