Sunday, July 1, 2012

Art on Beer

Back in March I mentioned I was working on a painting of Mike Doughty from an Old Rock House gig back in October. It seems I’ve hit a brick wall with this painting as I’ve started over on it three times now. Not sure what is causing the block but I sense it’s the fact that I don’t care much for his music. I read his book and quite enjoyed it but can’t listen to the his tunes. So while speculating on a new plan of attack on how to complete the piece over a beer at the Tap Room, I run into Chris King. He tells me he’s worked out a deal with El Lenador to have first Thursday art openings that will include drink specials and asks if I want to help him put some shows together. I say, “sure thing” and then he says, “OK, great, first show is Thursday, get some bands and we’ll put up some paintings”. Rolling with the punches (and the beer consumed) I agree and go my merry way.

The next day I had a vague recollection of having to book two bands for a show in 4 days. I email Chris to confirm and sure enough I had agreed to such a thing. After some discussion, we agree it’s probably best to push this project off for a month so we can properly prepare. Chris tells me I can hang whatever I want but I don’t really have anything to hang. I look over at my canvas rack and it’s filled with completed canvases that were just shown in a January show.

I noticed a number of long blank canvases sitting on the rack. These canvases measure 12 inches by 36 or 18 by 36 or 12 by 18, nice long canvases I’ve never used. I figured I could fill them up with beer El Lenador sells so when someone asks what kind of beer they have, they can just point at the walls. I could do a painting of a Corona, a PBR, a Stag, a Negra Modelo, a Modelo Especial, a Becks, a Dos Equis and finally a Schlafly Pale Ale (pictured above).

Then I decided to do all the paintings in oil. My usual medium preference is acrylic but I was still grappling with the whole Mike Doughty thing and trying to figure out a way to loosen things up a bit. I thought if I worked in an unfamiliar medium then that might keep me on my toes. I also wanted to keep these fresh and not over think them, so I started and completed each piece in one session.  Yeah there might be some mistakes here and there but too bad. Kind of like a live performance from a musician. Go with the flow and see what happens.

Over all I’m very happy with the results. I didn’t spend too much time or overwhelm myself and I got eight new canvases completed in less than a month. I started with spray paint and then filled in the blanks with oil. Oil is much different than acrylic, it’s less forgiving and requires more attention. Again, it’s like music, like playing music on an acoustic guitar vs. electric. Acoustic is very easy to control, like acrylic paint, but once you step into oil, like an electric guitar, everything gets amplified and you better be ready to make every stroke and movement count.

It was decided that the first show will be on Thu July 5 and Chris added Jay Babcock to the line-up of artists. I talked with Tim Rakel (Union Electric, May Day Orchestra) and Sherman S. Sherman (Peck of Dirt) about playing some solo tunes and now we’re set.

Art on Beer

El Lenador
3124 Cherokee St.
St. Louis, MO 63118

New work by
Dana Smith
Chris King
Jay Babcock

Solo sets by
Tim Rakel
Sherman S. Sherman

Thu July 5
9 pm - midnight
Art up until Aug. 2
This also kicks off Negro Modelo Night at El Lenador
$1 off Negro Model drafts at all Thursday night art openings.
Next openings: Tim McAvin (Aug. 2), Kim Keek Richardson (Sept. 6)

now playing - Fred Friction and Bob Camp