Getting Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed (Now In Technicolor)
Color Pencil on Strathmore Paper Cut 14 x 11
After a long night sleep, you groan and rub your eyes and wonder what you could of done the night before to leave you in such pain that morning. You slide one foot, then a leg followed by another leg out and off the side of you bed in an attempt to slide or pivot yourself out from the warmth and comfort of your bed and into the real world. Finally giving into the reality of life, you lift your heavy head, roll it on the popping and cracks of your neck and with one last sigh, you put your feet down and lift your body up on your hands only open your eyes to see all too late that you are on an edge of a deep canyon.
As he stands wearing his board shorts, his surfboard resting on his head, the surfer looks out at the ocean and dreams of the tall waves that that deserve to be ridden, the sea air in his face as he is splattered by a ocean mist. With the Allsea bridge behind him, Waldport at his back, the surfer looks at the ocean and dreams of waves large enough to actually ride.
As he listens to his girlfriend as she discusses and explains her day about the argument she had with one of her friends and how unfair and it seemed how her friend’s boyfriend had not listened to her, he looks passed her at the car pulling up beside them and says: “Uh-huh…”
In the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, a magazine that I have faithfully read and kept every issue since the fall of 1993, I came across this image of the man I soon came into being associated with as my altered sate of being. Kurt Donald Cobain performing on stage wrenching from his very soul every note and word that he feels it to be necessary to chant out. The stage lights cast down on his unwashed hair that cover most of his face as the outline of his small shoulders are seen draped in one his legendary sweaters. This was my first attempt at pastel.
Of the many icons of my youth and the stages in life, it is Kurt Cobain that I have the most trouble looking at. His music can be played non-stop through out my life and yet his face has caused me to pause from time to time. He was a handsome man with a charming smile. The only time I was able to see him perform was on Saturday Night Live in 1993 with Charles Barkley, RuPaul and Sebastian Bach of Skid Row.
Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana
RuPaul was a friend of Kurt as well as Skid Row was one of the bands that Kurt liked as a youth. After performing “Heart Shaped Box” and “Rape Me,” the show ended, as it had for its entire run, with the whole cast and guests waving goodbye. At this point, as an artist, I had noticed Kurt’s square shaped hands. It was not until I had read “Come As You Are” that I realized Kurt so slight of frame do to his stomach ailment. His hands looked large in contrast to his small arms. His waving and grinning at the end of the show was all the more unique in his eating a pastry and being dwarfed in height compared to Barkley and long time friend and band mate, Krist Novoselic.
Rolling Stone no. 674, January 1994
Close to my graduation from high-school and for my eighteenth birthday I walked to the local mall after school with a friend and fellow Nirvana fan and purchased “Cobain” fresh off the printing press. The book had a collection of the various Nirvana articles that Rolling Stone had done through the short career of Nirvana. To this day, it still urps me that the only Rolling Stone magazine I do not have is no. 674, January 1994. As a favor I let a friend borrow it only to never have seen that guy again.
Not having much money in my teenage years, I did not have a lot of posters and this compelled me to make my own. This pastel depiction of Kurt was an attempt at a Nirvana poster.
After the death of his mother, Princess Diana, I could not help but sense how much rage could have been in the young prince William. Over the years, William has grown into a man that like his mother is willing to help everyone he can. The expression on his face, as he listens intensely at someone at what I can only guess as a polo match, is one of those edges of anger and passion that I foresaw in his youth.
There is a bond between he and his younger brother Harry that is one that comes from a loss of a parent where the idea of family shifts to looking out for one another. The brothers are friends that a serious presence when entering a room. Seriously, one interviewer mentioned that just the shear height of the two boys is enough to make one take a step back not to mention that they are the second and third in line for the crown of Englan
The name of the alternative rock group Pearl Jam came from the introduction of their new singer. After the original singer of the Sub Pop band Mother Love Bone died of a drug overdose, the bassist and founder recruited a San Diego surfer named Eddie Vedder. After Vedder had covered the final formulation of the band and all original planned tracks for Mother Love Bone, he wrote a couple new songs as well. This plus a few other factors gave Vedder the ability to add his input into a new name for the group. The name was conceived as a band decision however it was fettered through Vader’s family. Vedder said that the name “Pearl Jam” was a reference to his great-grandmother Pearl, who was married to a Native American and had a special recipe for peyote-laced jam. (1) – Tim Benjam
(1) ^ a b Neely, Kim. “Right Here, Right Now”. Rolling Stone. October 31, 1991.
“Eddie Vedder” 1996
It should be noted that the color version of this portrait of Eddie Vedder was done 0n November 11 – 17, 2009 which are important dates both in the country of America and in my life span. The original sketch was done in 1996 and has spent close to to fifteen years in my portfolio. The revision came as I had grown uncomfortable with the light sketching style that was the norm of my life in the late nineties.
After stubbornness and the love of color in my art urged me to do a really refined portrait of Mr. Vedder. After smoothing out his hair and trying my best to recreate that slightly stained and faded coloring to his grunge style shirt, I started on the background of Red and maroon. Somehow Eddie Vedder will for ever be in a marron coloring in my mind. Blue and purple blotches began to arise and the idea of jam came to mind. In all it was a stones throw away from Pearl Jam’s name. Also Vedder in the place of Better stated that I felt this Eddie portrait was “A Vedder Jam.”