Monday, September 26, 2011


I first heard about the amazing guitarist Jorma Kaukonen when a friend in college introduced me to the music of Hot Tuna. Jorma is one of those rare guitarists who can decimate your ear drums with a vicious wah-wah solo, then turn around and break your heart with a tender love song. He is universally recognized as one of the best finger style guitarists in the world, and rightly so. I enjoy both his electric performances and his acoustic ones.

This is an unfinished portrait of Jorma. I took it to a point where I thought it should be, and let it go. The reference photo was from Hot Tuna's last record (at the time) appropriately called "Final Vinyl". I painted it in college, found my original attempt a while back, and sorta went "ugh"! So I tried again, and I feel this is a more relaxed attempt.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Boris as Fu Manchu

Hats off to a friend of mine, Big Swan! He owns several of my paintings, and usually picks subjects that I may not have considered. This is one of those cases. I've seen the film in which Boris Karloff portrays the evil Fu Manchu, and thought he did a great job in it. For whatever reason I probably never would have thought about doing a portrait of this character. I tend to focus on Karloff's more popular portrayals, or straight portraits of the man.

This one was fun to do. Lots of bright colors, tempered by a darker color key to keep a somber tone to the piece. I thought I had it finished at one point, but found I kept tweaking this and that, adding color, fuzzing up the background a bit, etc. Sometimes you just have to declare it finished and let it go.