Friday, May 14, 2010

Joseph Spence

Joseph Spence
45" x 20"
oil on wood, 2010

Haven't bought too many records lately. There's a little bit of a lull in my usual music exploration ways. Of the few I bought in recent weeks, an LP on the Mississippi label called Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long is the best one is. It's the third one I own from that label and all are wonderful. Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long is a collection of obscure blues and gospel, no recording dates, no information on the performers. The Joseph Spence song on the album Won't That Be a Happy Time is not as obscure since I already owned a copy of it. It appeared on the record The Real Bahamas In Music and Song recorded in 1965 by Peter Siegel. The ten points I awarded for the song in my 14th Top 10 of the year brought the total of points for Joseph Spence to 117, enough to enter an ongoing list of the 200 musicians with the most points gathered in the 28 years of list making. The Top 10 of that list is as follows:
  1. Bob Dylan
  2. Jimi Hendrix
  3. The Velvet Underground
  4. Captain Beefheart
  5. Cat Power
  6. Daniel Johnston
  7. Frank Zappa
  8. Neil Young
  9. John Coltrane
  10. Miles Davis
I did guarantee that the next painting would be big again. This Joseph Spence painting is bigger yet than the last one of Cat Power but even though the size allows me to really 'paint', it bugs me conceptually. It feels too big for what the image is: a commercial photograph of the Bahamian singer/guitarist. I felt like I've just painted a tourist painting that I could sell on the tourist markets in Nassau. (Now I come to think of it, maybe it's not such a bad idea. Who needs a studio when there's palm trees and 85 degrees year round.) Cat Power's image is different in that it is a painter's image. The next one on a larger scale I think should be of anonymous people suitable for a big scale painting. I'm thinking of a Portuguese woman in traditional dress from Beira-Baixa illustrating anonymous traditional music from that area in Portugal that I just awarded ten points in my 15th Top 10.

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