After covering several portraits of various artists in the "classic" soul arena, I decided for my next project, that I would move into an area that was more contemporary. Going through my roster of artists that I have done portraits of so far, it recently came to my attention that none of them are with us any longer... a fact that came as somewhat of a shock. It's an enduring testament to the power of their artistry, music, and legacy that all these artists I've been celebrating through my visual art feel as relevant and vital as they did when they were alive. Because of the impact that they left behind in the lives of those who knew and loved them and loved the art they made, their significance will never fade or diminish. Even when entering into contemporary territory with my latest project, AMY WINEHOUSE, it really took me by surprise to be reminded of the reality of her passing, her young age at the time of her passing, and the fact that the short but wonderful discography she left behind still endures the way it does, and is such an influence on myself and so many others.
**AMY WINEHOUSE Mixed Media 16x20 inches Limited Edition Poster Print
I was first introduced to Amy Winehouse's music while in art school back in 2008. I recall that I was in a life drawing class when students started taking turns playing their music as a backdrop to the 3 hour studio class that rolled on ahead of us. Even though her single "Rehab" hadn't been the initial song that struck a chord with me, I still took notice of her effortless vocal delivery, stylistic maturity and seamless blending of classic soul, and modern R&B. She sounded both contemporary and old school simultaneously, and that mixture was the hook that attracted me to listen to her music more fully. By the time I got ahold of her first album, Frank, and then was hooked on her then current follow up Back To Black and eagerly awaiting a follow up, the news had dropped that she had passed away at just 27 years old.
For her portrait, I wanted to represent Amy Winehouse in the way I always viewed her: a fashionable old soul in a young woman's body. Starting in simple black and white to capture a nostalgic feel but with a bit of an edge, I then added a simple splash of colour for the typeface. Her off the wall and tastefully extravagant sense of style, only served to make her a fabulous figure to study, walking the knife's edge of being both modern and classic. In addition to leaving behind such fine tunes as "You Know I'm No Good", "Wake Up Alone", and "Love Is A Losing Game", Amy Winehouse also left an enduring legacy of fans such as myself who appreciated her art, her unique sense of style, and her honest and poignant expression.
I love how faithful this portrait turned out, and I will certainly be doing more in the future.