The guitarist is on stage, the sounds of the live stage echo and pop and fizzle through the chords on the floorboards running between the mixing table and the amplifiers but the real sound is the player getting comfy in their single seat on the wooden stage floor, and the sounds of their fingers tapping on the fretboard and their other fingers sliding up the snakily twinging high pitched scratching of their guitar strings.
We feel it emerging from the empty space they first sat in, these sounds building up with gentle tappings then more forceful ones, mixing and intermingling with the chords progressing from the shapes they press.
They're feeling it, we're feeling it. They're building up into a song or the song is finally building us, we can't tell which as we're sitting back to be engulfed by the new thing they're making, that song up there on stage, while they're sitting back and just like us, they're feeling it, they're feeling the groove.
How I Made this Artwork
I painted "Feeling the Groove" on my Moleskin Travel Sketchbook and with my field Acrylic Paint set and brushes at an open-mic while watching Chris Dracup warm up the stage with his melodious blues and rock skills.
Sometimes he opens up the open-mic evening giving the perfect warm-up gift to all us musicians sitting in the audience, waiting our turn. With just an acoustic six string hollow body, he sets the mood and warms the audience up for all the performers on the sign up sheet getting their guitars and cases set up, ordering their drinks, and wondering how they'll each do tonight, how they'll be received, if this song's gonna be a hit or a warm slice of what was that? Chris has this easy going way of making the whole room friendly and electrified, and this time I wanted to try and capture that magic ambience he created for us.
His set gave me the perfect opportunity to start dabbing acrylic paint from the makeshift pizza wax-paper I asked the waitress for, and began trying to capture Chris's seemingly effortless gestures while sitting against the chiaroscuro light of the unassuming stage.
Using different brushes to wash in broad strokes the background, I sought to paint the way the music seemed to create shapes amidst the shadows themselves of his groovy chord progressions.
With the finishing shadow-brush-strokes coloring the brim of his hat and a few washy brush marks that cought his strumming hand and fret board fingers, I finished painting Chris Dracup up there for us all, feeling the groove.
Thinking about a Gift for Someone Special?
"Feeling the Groove" is all about watching and imagining the pure magic and music of a guitar player giving the amazing gift of music.
I would happily give this art gift to any music lover in my life, but more so, to someone in my life who truly loves guitar.
Someone who loves watching guitar players play, and someone who almost has a synesthetic experience with music and the shapes and colors possible in the mind's eye when transfixed by gorgeous musical talent.
Art Materials and Supplies that Made this Art
For this painting I used my
Moleskine Art Plus Music Notebook, Large, Black, Hard Cover (5 x 8.25) ,
Derwent Tinted Charcoal Pencils, (4mm Core, Metal Tin, 24 Count) to do rough sketches of the open-mic performance,
Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolor Compact Set ( almost always by my side now),
Golden Heavy Body Acrylic set of paints,
and most importanly for the textures and body of the textures in "Feeling the Groove,"
Golden Acrylic Med 16 Oz Regular Gel Semi-Gloss gel (this is a very thick gel)