Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ian Anderson

I was introduced to the music of Jethro Tull by a friend in high school art class. He brought in their first greatest hits collection, and as soon as I heard Bouree I was hooked! From the intense musicianship to the thought-provoking lyrics it was the band for me. I even painted the cover to their Aqualung album on my bedroom wall during my college years!

I saw them in concert five times, four of those during the "classic" years of 1978-1982. Definitely some of the best concerts I have ever seen, and I've seen a lot! Always theatrical, always humorous, always a great guitar solo from Martin Barre, and back then Ian did his amazing flute solo. I remember sitting on the campus commons, reflecting on some of their lyrics. Even though ian Anderson and I disagree on just who God is, his lyrics forced me to re-examine my own beliefs, and reach my own conclusions. For that I thank him.

The portrait of Ian was one of the first I had ever done where there was no prep work: just a blank canvas and have at it. It's a fun albeit nerve wracking way to paint, but I was satisfied with the results. It was painted in 1980, and I have no idea where the original is, buried in my studio somewhere. Aqualung is still buried beneath several coats of paint that it took to cover him up when Dad sold the house. I drive by that house sometimes and it's fun to image him still there, sleeping under all those coats of paint.