The Beat Goes On
The above painting is an interpretation of an event at which I was present on my last visit to San Francisco. As always, I found the marching band a rousing part of a small town parade which I think took place in Half Moon Bay, along the coast. There was much pageantry, all part of a Pentecostal celebration. Perhaps some of that will find its way into future paitings of mine. The colorful negative space surrounding the marchers was my own invention to add to the driving force, propelling the musicians forward. after all, this wasn't a football game or anything with cheering in the stands that would enliven their spirits. But their presence made a compelling impact. The colorful uniforms are in colors of my choice, and the chevron insignias on the drum and uniform, as well as in the background elements, are a figment of my imagination. As they say, " the names have been changed to protect the innocent"!
Countless hours transpired in the process of bringing the painting to life. Since the drawing was freehand, although based on photos of mine taken at the time, the first challenge was to get the drawing done in a pleasing, semi-accurate way, of course also setting it up on the page to create the essence of the scene through lively composition. Designing the negative space based deliberately on op art ideas in my head was the second challenge, as I built a kind of oblique grid that would complement the band, moving them forward. The third consideration was color, selecting choices to express my idea of what I wanted to convey here. Additional colors were added to the scheme as the work progressed, always with the idea of limiting them to limited variations of same colors. Fourth, I needed to paint all with some accuracy, faces, marching stance, uniforms, and correct forms for the instruments, at least making them convincing semblances of reality.
Finally completed this last night after about 3 weeks during which it found its way onto my page in watercolor and gouache.
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