Fresh Off the Easel - "Heavy Metal Thistles"

As a fine artist, I've explored painting landscapes, botanicals, architecture and portraits. During the past year, I created nearly 42 impressionistic paintings. At times, it was difficult to stay focused on being creative and optimistic. So, I decided to invest in new brushes and try new techniques. It was fun discovering that I could push beyond my comfort level and be happy with the results.

I'm so pleased to present my floral abstract, “Heavy Metal Thistles", with apology to Ozzy Osborne. Who?

Years ago, Bob photographed Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer of the heavy metal band, Black Sabbath, during their first performance at Kiel Auditorium in St. Louis. Ozzy was known for his boundless energy and dramatic antics onstage. Bob's photo caught Ozzy jumping into the air with his long hair flying straight up.

I started to do a painting of Ozzy from the black and white photo and then set it aside. It just didn't have that spark. The realization that so many artists and performers have been affected by this pandemic was also a bit overwhelming.

Recently I did an interview with Ron Stevens about Bob and Concert-News for the upcoming video special, "Keep Live Alive St. Louis", which will air in March to raise funds to help those working in the music industry who lost their jobs. 

It was exciting being able to share memories of the music scene from the seventies.

That brings me to this floral abstract. I was going to paint Thistles from a photo I took at The Nature Place near Pikes Peak. I carefully mixed paint on the palette and then just sat for a moment staring at the canvas where I had started Ozzy's portrait. Then loading paint onto the brush I began painting memories of that concert. The white flowerhead of the thistle soon became Ozzy, jumping wildly about the stage and singing loudly to the cheering young audience.

Creating this abstract was a joyful experience. Now I'm ready to bid farewell to 2020 and celebrate 2021 with new paintings to come.