Music and the Tree of Life

A few years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to paint several pieces for a famous musician's local restaurant. The colorful food and prints by artists who've created his album covers were to be in the spotlight, while my work was to add texture and pattern in a neutral palette incorporating a list of about his music. Hm, it seemed daunting at first but I decided to jump in without question and see what might happen...

[caption id="attachment_3865" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I started by making canvases from salvaged plywood and hollow-core doors. For the largest piece- I combined two of Carlos' favorite symbols, the Tree of Life and Rose, to create a painting that represented ever expanding Life and Love."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3872" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I layered these custom stencils, shifting the stencil just a touch with each pass to add dimension and light. Then I sketched the base of a rosebush on my patio and enlarged the scale to create the feel of a young tree."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3867" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Next, I wrote out the quote suggested and transferred the letters with tracing paper and pencil."][/caption]

The next pieces called for a little collage...

[caption id="attachment_3870" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Influenced by the ironwork planned for the restaurant exterior, I started two Tree of Life paintings with curlyque branches."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3869" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I collaged turn-of-the-century Mexican guitar music to honor Santana's heritage."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3875" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Hand cut stencils display the given quote. The vintage style lettering and distressed layers of metalic gold, crumpled paper and umber glaze looks rustic and worn."][/caption]

At first, I was a little disappointed that these paintings ended up in the restrooms, then thought, "well, there's a captive audience for you!" My friends laughed as we piled into the Mens and Women's bathrooms for an intimate look.

The final piece was created for the Musician's private dining area so I really needed to channel his spirituality.

[caption id="attachment_3877" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I designed this winged-heart shape then created stencils to play with negative and positive space. The iconic sunburst is collaged into place with beams radiating out (done with paint pen)"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3871" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="I added an image of an angel then painted the quote around the sunburst to symbolize Eternal Truth."][/caption]

I've done some super cool, really fun, rewarding projects in my career. This one makes the top 5 for sure. I stepped way outta my comfort zone to create something magical (hopefully) and personal to a musical legend I've admired for years. I was justifiably terrified at first, but learned that jumping in with trust the process and my instincts can lead down some pretty amazing roads.




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