Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lil Armstrong

Top 100 2000: Lil Armstrong
4.75" x 20", oil and collage on wood, 2001
As a sort of sequel to the previous post here's another jazz painting belonging to the Top 100 2000 series. That there were multiple early/mid 20th Century female jazz pianists in that top 100 was undoubtedly due to me borrowing the CD 40 Years of Women in Jazz from the Columbus Metropolitan Library that year. Lil Armstrong (née Hardin) is on that CD but the top 100 track Boogie Woogie comes from an LP dedicated to (multi-gender) jazz piano music that I own. Lil Hardin married Louis Armstrong in the 20s and they produced a score of recordings together. While the marriage didn't last Lil kept Louis' name. And I keep all these old paintings of mine in boxes in my attic and it's fun to every once so often revisit certain eras in my archive. This Lil Armstrong painting has a bit yellowed now, and the silk rose has flattened some but Ms. Armstrong hasn't lost any of her sparkle. The top 100 paintings done in early 2001 belong to my wildest ones in the series. The approach then was to totally (as totally as I could muster) give in to my impulses while working on these paintings. The results were sometimes good sometimes bad but very fresh in general. The Armstrong portrait was one of my favorites from that year. 13 years later I decided that the plastic leaves on the left were a bad impulse at the time (while the rose that was connected to it works quite well) and I removed it. Block out these leaves to see for yourself...

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