Another legend I painted at a time when I was exploring a range of musical themes. Beyond creating a straight representation, at the timeI was using a reduced palette of four colours; cadmium red, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow and titanium white, which I settled on to see how far I could push their creative potential. While this and other paintings I did at the same time are blue themed, others I did do not necessarily reflect the blue tones seen here.
This was originally done as a sketched idea for a more fully developed commissioned painting. I was happy enough with the painting (of which I no longer have a photograph) though I do remember that it didn't quite have the zest and energy of this swiftly and playfully produced sketch. The dribbles and splodges of running paint I felt (and still feel) added to part of the spontenaiety of the sketch and I came to deliberately induce these sorts of happy accidents to happen in future work.
Not only is this the earliest painting I ever did on a musical theme, this also happens to be one of the earliest surviving paintings I ever did, full stop. As is obvious, it was based on a photograph (black and white if I recall correctly) though now I couldn't say where I found it, but I did it as a challenge as I was trying to teach myself how to paint at the time. It was done in acrylics on a canvas-textured paper. I liked working with acrylics because it suited my need to work fast and is very forgiving of mistakes. I do remember trying to get a bit of a dramatic lighting aspect into the picture as I was struck by the old boy's joyful smile and…
I went through a period when I became fascinated about creating paintings and drawings with a musical theme. Some were rather imaginative, some were portraits, others were largely exercises in throwing a load of paint around and seeing what turned up. I rediscovered this one in my old portfolio which I found neglected in the shed. The original is slightly larger than A1 on heavy watercolour paper. I liked working fast in acrylic and pastel at that time, I seem to recall.