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Archive for Rock Art


When It Just Ain't Right

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I’ve got wood..but not the type Frank is talking about over at Tech Jaws.

This is a piece that I knew was BAD.. and just wasn’t right. I beat myself up for 24 hours, knowing I totally missed the deal on this as well it being an unjust to my favorite subject.

This is a piece of work that will be auctioned off at a charity event coming up in February.  My husband did not understand my angst over it not being correct, but graciously spent several hours sanding it off for me.

I even asked my brother-in-laws opinion, and he said if I had to ask him, I knew it was not right! He always has an opininon.. most often times one that’s larger than he is.   I am not proud of this one, and it just pissed me off.. reworking pencil on natural wood is a pain in the ass.   I erased, re-drew, erased, re-drew and nothing, I just could not connect this time.

I highly suggest number one, if you are going to sketch on wood, as I have in the past, go lightly.  I mean that literally, it would have saved me time as well as Buck, but determined to get the darker shades down, I laid it on thick.. and the wood just soaked it up..and no matter how I tried, the mistakes could not be corrected.

There has to be a lesson in it right?  What makes us good? Going back at it and trying again.  Not wanting to butcher another guitar biting sketch, I opted for another favorite pic, really which one of them is not one of my favorites.  To many pictures of Stevie, too little time!

Walking away from a project or re-grouping early on is the best way of fixing something that is not going as you had planned.  We can all be off our game on any given day, I took a breather and with wood had clean fresh slate which is now turning into something that I can with confidence sign my name to.

Not all the work we do is perfection, not all the projects we are involved in can be “spectacular”, walk away with a lesson & a plan for the next one..


A Man & His Guitar

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I started looking around Freelance Folder a few months back, and thought I would try my hand at writing.  I submitted an article and actually got one published.

Keeping the Creative Juices Flowing – Following the links through out Freelance Folder, I ran into the Heavy Act that the founder –  Jon Phillips plays guitar for.  I am not real versed in Heavy Metal Rock, but this is a band to be on the look out for if you are.

I was intrigued to say the least at the photo’s of the band members, there is something that is just bad ass about them, they emanate what the rock scene is all about, bringing out and showing the core of the musician’s.

I wrote to Jon and asked if it was alright to sketch this particular picture of him and his PRS-Paul Reed Smith Guitar, he was more than happy to send me the original photo so that I could get to work. There was just something about this particular picture…

I incorporated the Gods of Now logo around Jon to give it more attitude.  The PRS Guitar was done in black charcoal to stand out a little bit more on Jon’s shoulder.

This project really was fun to see come to life, it continues to fascinate me how much we can find through the internet and how much talent is out there that we are completely unaware of.

Again, I say, it’s like taking a road trip from your cushy office chair..

Categories : Rock Art
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Sliding into the Weekend – Bonnie Raitt

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The Best of Bonnie Raitt shows off some of this musician’s phenomenal bottleneck style guitar playing.  With a birthday just around the corner, you’d never think she was close to 60, she’s got a vibrancy about her that comes out in her music.

Music was part of Bonnie’s life from early on and reviews of her work have been a mixed bag through out the years.  Struggling with substance abuse as many before her, she credited Stevie Ray Vaughan the evening after he died tragically, in helping sober herself up.

It took close to 20 years of recordings and labels before this musician was to find commercial success.  On her 10th album Nick of Time.  That is determination.

Bottleneck style guitar playing is one of my favorite sounds, some of the great blue’s players used bottles, aspirin bottles, Excedrin bottles – you name it.  That was, when those type of materials came in glass.  Now, they are made special, coming in different sizes and materials.

Rocky Mountain Slides Swamp Frog Medicine Bottle Glass Slide Standard

Rocky Mountain Slides Poncha Bullet Guitar Slide Mojo Green

Here is my Friday Line Up of Slide Players that I will make sure I listen to today! If you haven’t heard of them, check out some of my favorites.

Ry Cooder – Vigilante Man , Bonnie Raitt Live at Montreaux, Duane Allman, Sonny Landreth.

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Move Over Monday – Janis Joplin

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Could there have been a more outrageous woman personality that spoke the 70’s as soon as she hit the first note in a song?

You say that it’s over baby, Lord,
You say that it’s over now,
But still you hang around me, come on,
Won’t you move over.

It was a time for poet’s and her and Jim Morrison set the tone for scenes upon scenes for the psychedelic rock movement, their raunchy and rebellious behavior was one that the teen scene flocked to.  Imagine the fantasy of The Poet in Exile, our fantasies of rock legends, alive, on an island.. another well worth the read.

No matter what lyrics Janis sang she bent the throttle on them, reaching into the gravely under tones and the seedier side of life, we lived vicariously through her as we traveled down that Highway with her & Bobby McGee.

Not only did the song take us on a journey across the country, but Joplins short career gave us some all time greats.  Her last recording was Mercedes Benz an astounding throaty sound that Janis was known for.  There was a song written for Janis by Nick Gravenites, she was supposed to record the lyrics the evening she passed away, it appears on Buried Alive in the Blues (+ Bonus DVD)
It is well worth checking out, our imagination can run wild, thinking of how the Babe of Blues would have performed this song..

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Ladies Week or is it Man's Week?

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It’s Ladies Week or Man’s Week, depends how you look at it, I’ll be featuring some of the “ladies” this week in my pencil sketches…

I have focused on drawing many of my favorite guitarist, musicians and what not.  I figured it’s time to honor some requests, and if you have some, please feel free to let me know.

Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart – banned together as sisters are, they have been one of the only constants in Heart’s career,  but don’t sisters do that most of the time.

Heart rose to fame in the 1970’s when we were sporting bell bottoms, beads and bongs as we that grew up than played Hippie.  Oh.. gotta check out: Hippie Shop, if you like the psychedelic era of the 70’s, it’s a must to put on your shopping list.   I wonder how far Joe – from Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars lives from there?

Sisters…it’s a powerful thing, it’s a band, it’s a club, it’s a loyalty…as the Lakota Sioux say… Mitakuye Oyasin – all my relations.  A must read Lakota Woman, talk about a powerful and strong woman.  My oldest sister was my ally growing up protecting me from my middle sister and brother.. they’d chase me with worms, put blankets over me and say and as my other sister, the middle one, with no middle name, really has the middle syndrome going on .and continue’s to argue with me about blogging..she started one, Do Something Even if its Wrong.  but still argue’s and isn’t quite getting the entire concept.. she has no trouble speaking up any other time!!!!

All three of us are entirely different, as you guessed by now, if you are a faithful reader, I am the “flower child” a whoops, I am told, but a good whoops.  Sisters have a unique bond between them, most of the time.  It’s sad when sisterhood breaks for reasons that are unexplainable, in my life though, no matter how much they make you want to pull your hair out, they are there during the times in your life when you need them.

Friends are sisters too, I have one in particular who is smart, sensative and I can’t even tell you how strong, October is Breast Awareness Month, and her story is here..I’ll let ya read that one on your own, I don’t want to smear one of the Wilson Girls eye makeup….

I am Woman, Hear me Roar!

Thanks to Carol at She-Lives for requesting these two sultry looking stars from the seventies!.

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Bringing People Together

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I sit in amazement how the “information highway” brings people into our lives, I recently got an email from someone looking for of all things a picture of House of Texas Music – In Austin, Texas to add to a Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Video of – I’m Crying.

Funny thing is, my husband wanted to take the picture outside of Ray’s Hennig’s store of the Marquee, and I wondered why, well, I suppose a greater power was at work and Stevie knew Connie had been searching for a picture of Ray’s place for quite some time.

Connie contacted me again for another project she is working on and she will be featuring some of my sketches.  She asked if I had any of Reese Wynans – I did not, so I whipped this up to send to her as well as some others.  Connie has some wonderful Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute Video’s and has given me some fantastic pictures that I have never seen of many of my favorite’s.

If you are a fan – these video’s are a must see, there’s several with interviews and pictures that she cherishes.  There is little information out there about Reese Wynans that I could find,  he added something to the already great Double Trouble, they were blazing and a strong threesome, and with Reese’s energetic and solid keyboard playing Double Trouble continued to thrive and create music that will be coursing through blue’s lover’s ears, minds & souls for years to come!.

Stephen Stills, musician & songwriter best know for his part in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – a great line up unto itself.  Also known for his work in Buffalo Springfield.

Stephen Stills was one of the first, if not the last to be nominated into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, twice in one night for his work in both the above bands.

His influence ranged from Blues, Folk & Latin Music – Diversity.  A quality that we often forget about, being diverse, we focus on what’s easy, what we are familiar with.  There is an entire world out there that we know nothing about.  Start exploring and start trying something new!

Al Kooper was in a bit of a predicament when Mike Bloomfield left him a note during Super Sessions… “Dear Alan, Couldn’t Sleep…went home…sorry.  Under the gun with half an album recorded, studio time booked and musicians ready to play..heading for the phone and leaving messages for players he knew would pre-vail.. in walked Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield had just broken up and Al Kooper knew his guitar playing was sizzling.  Signed with another label, and of course, red tape, but great minds have a way of figuring those things out.. Corporate America at it’s finest.. it’s all about the money.

Luck & Diversity…Stephen Stills availability went up to the top twenty, went gold & went into our musical history books! Stephen Stills touches others lifes through the diversity of his music, touching many genre’s and creating memories as we listen to what he has released in his career.

Step out of your known comfort zone… diversify yourself today, pick up an album, cd or something you wouldn’t normally listen to, or normally do.. it may bring a smile to your face, it may open opportunites..

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Still Fallen – Pencil Sketch from Photo

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My music tastes can pretty much go from one end of the spectrum to the other on any given day.  Just depending on the mood I am in.

I would like to introduce you to a local Chicago Band that is up & coming in the Punk/Rock Genre.  Still Fallen is comprised of – left to right – Matt, Kristy, Luke & Nick.  Recently appearing at Chicago’s Double Door.

Many bands are formed in young minds and are set up in garages across the globe, with their dedication to playing & their thirst to move forward, this is group that we may want to keep our eye on.

This is a sketch that I did of Still Fallen, which I just threw together in about an hour and a half, to give to Nick! He’s the one that sold my son the Black SG Junior for 10.00

Check out more Live Chicago Music you just never know what you will find when you step out of your current music genre !

I will also continue my Touching Others Lives Series – it’s a continued work in progress…so check back often.

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A name yet again that I had never heard of… Al Kooper Introduces Shuggie Otis.  A Multi-Instrumentalist and performing professionally since the age of 12.  Having to paint on a mustache to appear older, Shuggie Otis is behind the scenes in many places that we are familiar with.

Strawberry Letter 23, a song that Otis wrote has been heard in – Six Feet Under, Jackie Brown, Nip/Tuck, Pulp Fiction and Special K Commercials.  Touching Our Lives I would say..

Strawberry Letter 23 was written about a girlfriend of Shuggies, and recorded successfully by Brothers Johnson.   His girlfriend would write letters to him on Strawberry Scented Paper.

How many of us have given up actual written script? With Email,  Social Networks, Blogs and the entire internet movement, we really take for granted touching others lives through written word.  A few months back, I did a post on a blogger – Ty Hurd I had drawn a picture of Ty to promote his online campaign to win the Top Affiliate Challenge.  He thanked me in a post on his site, a nice email and about 4 days later, I got a hand written thank you card from Ty.  I opened the envelope on my way back from the mail, and had to stop in my steps.  So many of us forget what handwritten words can do.

What can written words do for us? They can encourage, elate, impress and give us warm & fuzzies.  Have you ever listened to a song over & over? Or re-read a love letter from the past, that is now worn at the creases? I know I have, trying to understand the emotion that it brings out in us.  Love letters, they are magical.  Whether it is a love letter to a spouse, a thank you from a friend, or just a line that says “you were thought of today”.

Couples often times loose touch, loose communication with each other, forgetting why they fell in love    This reminds me of a practice my husband and I had done daily for a long while, and since stopped. I shall re-institute it starting today.. our thoughts in written word, we kept a small diary on our kitchen table, so when we sat separately with our coffee we could jot down our feelings and emotions of the day.

I pulled the diary out – as I started writing this post

It was a bad winter, and my husband works for a local municipality and ends up out all hours of the night plowing, a thankless job truly.  He had been but a shadow for a week straight, and on the eve of his last night of call, I left him this – a very simple note:

Sorry you had such a rough and long week on call..soon it will be over”

His response – “Thank you for loving me so much, I can’t wait til it’s over and I can see you

Small & Simple affirmations of love.  Within the diary he even put a small note to my son – He said.. “Jake – remember to try something new today.  Have a nice day, smile alot and remember, I love you both.”

The song that you here playing in this post is, Bury My Body this is Al Kooper with Shuggie Otis on Guitar at the age of 15, a talent that has been amazingly overlooked, a talent that has Touched Our Lives without our knowledge.. Enjoy…


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Touching Others Lives

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This is the start of a series of posts on touching others lives, my husband brought home a really unusual canvas for me last week, he finally got it prepped and it’s ready for me to lay down some lead to give it soul of rock and roll. This one, I will be selling!

I will leave out the details of what this discarded item is, and as my “Touching Others Lives” series goes on, I will continue to share each portion of this drawing, I will unveil the reused, recycled and refurbished item.

The first post here, is to make y’all think about those that have touched your life, even if for just a fleeting moment.  Like the Uncle that gave you a dollar when you were a child, and you headed to the local Ben Franklin Dime Store, coming out with a little jar of  liquid blowing bubbles.

The Aunt that you would visit, who always had Salerno Butter Cookies and Milk waiting on your arrival.  A Sister that would always be your ally when your other siblings tormented you with muddy worms and threatened to make you eat them.

Do we take the time as a human race these days to really understand why the people that are in our lives are there?

We do gravitate towards people with similar interests, but it is also very interesting to step outside that little circle of life we are in, and try something a little different, learn something from someone that we have no idea what they are talking about.Watch an old movie that we have never seen, but often heard the title.  Casablanca, It’s a Wonderful Life or Once Upon a Time in the West.

I sat last evening with a couple that grew up in theater, and had the notions of this post swimming through my mind before we even entered their colorful home.  The walls in the bathroom are papered with old clippings of past events, old entertainers, sheets of music.  Entertainment from years past, things and people that have touched their lives, they touched mine last night.  The excitement in John’s voice, when he heard I had never seen Casablanca, he couldn’t wait to share something he felt passionate about and went digging for the movie – he didn’t find it, so I guess I will be heading to Blockbuster soon.

How will that movie, and that moment touch my life, I don’t know yet, but as we continue each day of our lives, we all have something to learn from someone, and we all have something to teach someone.  It’s broadening our circles and our minds that will help us grow into better rounded people.  I have a thirst for knowledge, and learning, stepping into others circles if only for a short time, can really be an adventure that will open up so many possibilities.

As my recycled, reused “conversation piece” continues, I will touch on a icon in Rock History that opened doors for one heck of a lot of people, a name that is known to many and known little to others, and not known at all to some..

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