I’ve been in tons of bands. No, none you’ve ever heard of. The most money we’ve ever made a night was a whopping $43, that we had to split between four people. Yay!
In other words, we starved. But that’s the fate of 99.99% of bands. They starve. Then they break up.
However, I learned a lot. We did covers of some excellent songs – Megadeth’s Holy Wars, Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll, Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, Ozzy’s Mr. Crowley, the Ramones’ I Wanna Be Sedated, Slayer’s War Ensemble, Iron Maiden’s Aces High. Tons more. I’m not going to list every cover song I’ve ever performed live.
I will say that nothing teaches you an instrument faster than copying your heroes.
The same goes for painting. I do homages every once in awhile. For instance, I did my own version of an Alphonse Mucha painting back in June. This time around, I’m copying the style of Mel Ramos.
You’ve seen Mel Ramos’ paintings
If you don’t know him by name, you’ve seen his paintings. He’s done everything from superheroes to naked girls in martini glasses. He’s a fellow pop artist.
Yes, I’m a pop artist. Not a fine artist. Musically, I’m venturing towards real Classical music. But my art is for fun. I love doing it. It’s therapeutic.
But that’s the route I’m going down and I’ll probably always stay there artistically. I simply like it.
Mel Ramos was a Californian pop artist who was also influenced by Gil Elvgren. Elvgren influenced most of us pinup artists either directly or indirectly. It’s just like every American guitarist borrowed from people who borrowed from people who borrowed from people who imitated that strip of land in the Deep South that created the Blues.
I’ll do an homage to Elvgren later. For now, here’s my friend Jin modeling for my homage to Mel Ramos. He did a whole series of these keyhole pinup paintings.
And yes, if you’re wondering, her body really is that lovely in real life. I painted exactly what I saw.