Monday, November 5, 2018

avett things

 I've been listening to the Avett Brothers for a long time.  G and I saw them live for the first time eons ago at The Handlebar in Greenville, SC.  Langhorne Slim opened for them and we were hooked on both bands since.  In those early days, I had a cool email conversation with Scott Avett about some things we had in common.  Both our dads were welders.  Now the Avetts are famous and I think Saturday Night Live is the only late night show they haven't been on.  

One of the cool things about the Scott and Seth Avett is that they are both also visual artists.  Scott, in particular, is an exceptional printmaker and painter.  Here are a few examples of his paintings swiped from Instagram...


During an artist talk at Soco Gallery in Charlotte, NC a few weeks ago, Scott gave some really honest and interesting answers to questions posed by the host and by the audience.  I was able to listen to a live stream and I was interested enough in some of the ideas he discussed that I wanted to remember them.  File this under "selfish post"...you're welcome to read it but I admit it's mostly for me.

Speaking about portrait painting, Scott said that portraits of others are really just self portraits.  This felt true to me.  I rely on models and photos of people in various poses when I lay out my drawings on wood.  These references are rarely chosen because of who they are.  They are often chosen for the pose of the body, because they fit the compositional need or because they just feel important to me...but almost always, they are referencing some part of me.  Sounds selfish, but it's true.

Answering a question about spiritual content in his work, Scott said "It's all spiritual."  I'm not sure you can ever separate the spiritual from the artwork.  There is something at the very core of creating that is spiritually connected.  This is not really a religious thing, just an indication that there is something more than the visible at work in visual art.

"Fall on canvas"...when asked about how much preliminary sketching and studies he does for a painting, Scott indicated that he does very little planning before getting in front of the canvas.  He said he always wants to get to work and learn from the composition as he goes.  He said it was important for him to be able to fall on canvas, to make mistakes and learn from them during the creation of the work of art.  

He also said that he was working on an album with another of my favorite musicians, Eef Barzelay.  I'm pretty excited about that too.

I'm closing my computer now and going back on fall break.