Very occasionally, there comes a moment, when you feel a part of something that is the culmination of all the blood, sweat and-frankly-ballache of being an artist. And so it was last evening at the Belly Up.Staring back down the hazy passage of 24 hours since, a muddy post beer hangover and still feeling like that scene from Midnight Express, where Brad Davies is strung from his ankles in a Turkish prison, and beaten on the soles of his feet, its hard to sum up a postcard of the night, but singularly the word that immediately springs to mind is ‘profound.’
I must admit to being a little nervous before the evening-live painting is the metier of practitioners who paint from the shoulder and not the wrist, and with three hours in which to construct something I was determined that it wouldn’t look like the result of a post paint enema.
In the end, I went with what I know, and painted a skull with an iconic Aladdin Sane flash splashed across the dry bone surface, I appropriately titled the piece ‘Dead Sound’-after the Raveonettes most well known song. Having spent almost four months crawling through ‘The Valley’, it was a revelation to be able to paint something that amounted to more than a stroke in such a short amount of time.
Incidentally, the Valley looked tremendous hanging with its accompanying sisters in the restaurant, drawing a lot of interests, and a few price enquries. Indeed, considering my approximation to people, more intent on consuming delicious Mexican dishes, I enjoyed a healthy influx of admirers and possibilities.
I was signing and handing the piece over to be raffled by 9pm, much to the disappointment of a lovely young lady who had come to the restaurant to watch me paint, but had missed me due to being seated behind a partition. We exchanged cards, and I consoled her that the piece would be available to win, and that if she was going to the show, she would at least see it in its glory, as it was up on the stage whilst the bands played.
I make reference to this because it became a defining moment later in the evening, when having drawn the winning number from the hat, it turned out that this self same young lady was the winner. Coincidences of the past several months have seldom seemed favorable, but we were all genuinely floored by the serendipity of the event. I think it shows in the photo.
The night belonged to The Ravonettes however, and their sonic wall of spectral guitars and haunting voices-female singer-Sharin Foo is something truly enchanting to behold, with her peroxide Clara Bow bangs, and the kind of cheekbones that could slice through paper.
After they’d finished their set, they met us briefly-very graciously signing a poster and sweetly posing for a photograph.
It was 1am by the time we breathed the night air, and as we passed the duo on the street in our car-we couldn’t resist rolling down the window and caterwauling ‘Ravonettes Rule-wooooo!!!’ To which they smiled and waved. The perfect end to a perfect night.
Finally, I’ve heard it said, no man is an island, so before I wax another archipelago analogy, I’d like to thank the following: The lovely Jackie Eash and gracious Beau Dorin, for inviting me to such an auspicious event-kings have enjoyed less geniality.
Thank you to the staff at the Belly Up who were so wonderfully accommodating, and to everyone who came out in support or who just wandered over to tell me ‘hello- I love what you are doing.’
Big kudos to the Ravonettes for being so lovely and cool, and not sniffy rock stars post gig.
Thanks to my great pal and live painting master Mark Jesinoski for giving me the tip of the hat that made it happen in the first place.
And finally-to Lani, who is a bottomless well of love and support to my dreams, even when she is suffering a cold like she was last night-Thank you my darling.