June 2013: For the 40th anniversary of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, I created five portraits of the members of the cutting edge group, Punch Brothers, and was honored to present them to the musicians in Telluride, at Telluride Music Company. Ed Helms, a long-time friend of the group, was part of the gathering, and I gave a short talk before presenting the paintings, which was summarized on the back of a commemorative card that i created for the event: “These paintings were created for the Punch Brothers in gratitude for teaching me about how to have the courage to push things right to the edge, for reminding me of the importance of commitment to continual practice and focus in the arts, and for inspired and remarkable virtuosity as musicians.”
Guitarist Chris Eldridge wrote: I am sincerely very touched that our work has been so inspiring to you and that you took that inspiration and recast it in a way that you could share with us. What a beautiful loop that creates. And the paintings, needless to say, are rich, beautiful and inspiring in their own right. Violinist Gabe Witcher wrote: As artists we all hope to have some sort of impact, no matter how small, and to hear how our music has impacted you and even inspired you to create is the greatest compliment we could receive.
The portraits were created in many layers of acrylic while listening to Punch Brothers music, which inspired me to splatter and make a nice controlled mess of them, after which I incorporated vintage musical scores in the upper portion of the panels that flowed from one to the next. The portraits themselves were done with oils, and the final splatter across all five was meant to represent the kind of magic in the air that occurs when these musicians are really in the flow together.