After reviewing the Graydon Wallace Art collection, and surmising the lack of soul artists represented amongst my Pop Culture portraits (which to date have mainly been comprised of classic rock icons and actors), I decided to reapply my focus in the soul/R&B genre to kick off the new year. When not working on commissions, I always try to create work that represents where I'm at personally as well as creatively so that the art reflects what inspires me or what I find inspiring. It is the most effective way, I feel, to connect myself with outside projects that pertain to my mission, style and specialty as a portrait artist, inspire prospective clients, or stimulate interest in potential buyers. It's a losing game to even conceive of making art that I'm only guessing at, like a blind marketing ploy for some abstract group I think "might" be interested in the subject alone. Only inspired art has the ability to move and to inspire others. It was with that mindset that a series of new soul portraits began to take shape, as I found myself increasingly absorbed by music of both the past and present that touched and resonated with me, because I knew the art I would create as a result of it would have the ability to connect with others who also identify and connect with music in the same way I do.
**ARETHA FRANKLIN (Queen of Soul) Mixed Media 20x20 inches Limited Edition Poster Print
I'm usually inspired by music when making art, and so naturally, my art is constantly inspired by music. If I go on a particular binge in terms of genre or artist, there tends to be a reaction in me artistically. Music can evoke emotion, provoke memory, create mood, and inspire one to dance, and in that same way, it moves my soul and creates the desire to create art in order to express that nearly indescribable feeling it has the ability to create inside. No musical form captures my imagination, excites and moves me quite like soul music does, and with my latest project (ARETHA FRANKLIN (Queen of Soul)), I decided to begin a series of portraits that would reflect my love for the genre and artists who were/are staples of it.
Aretha Franklin is a wonderful singer and an undeniable icon in the soul genre. Though I have covered her in the past in monochrome, this time, I wanted to use colour to bring her face and the emotional energy in her music and her singing to life. As the series moves forward, I look forward to revisiting and building on some of the artists I have taken on before, but especially push forward into territory. This project is the perfect stepping stone, being a familiar favourite of mine subjectively, and new terrain for me aesthetically.