Artist Statement - Bar Scenes

The atmosphere of a bar may be as general as the emptiness of a Tuesday night or as specific as a conversation in the girls’ bathroom. Through my work as a bassist and vocalist, I often find myself in bars. Onstage, I observe figures, objects, and situations that create the atmosphere. In my studio, I render these impressions from memory, exploring the character of the bar from my perspective as a musician.

The charcoal is applied in dark, slightly out-of-focus tones that vibrate like the low notes of a bass. Linear marks drawn spontaneously over these tones recall a singer’s melody gliding over the pulse of the band. Tables, chairs, and bar stools are drawn repeatedly, creating rhythmic variations throughout the composition.

The building process of these drawings echoes a musical improvisation. Initial strokes define the background the same way a chord progression creates the structure of a song. Like an improvised solo, the drawing begins with the overall intent in mind, but evolves spontaneously as additional figures emerge and interact.

My intimacy with music offers a different palette from which to create my artwork. Rather than keeping these facets of my life separate, I seek ways for them to interact and amalgamate. As my commitment to both art and music intensifies, it has become poignantly clear that the existence of one is strengthened by the prevalence of the other.