On Friday night I went to a gig at the Acorn in Penzance of an artist I'd never heard of before to be honest - PHIL KING. My husband came across him and bought us tickets. It turned out to be a small and intimate evening of wonderful music and lyrics - just one very charismatic young man and his guitar.
(Sorry, about the rubbish photo I took of the poster up on the wall)
During one his chats between songs, Phil told this story of having been to the concert of one of his heroes, Ray Lamontagne when he noticed that he was offering his used guitar strings for sale - and that someone was actually prepared to buy them for 50 quid.
So, almost as a joke, Phil decided to offer his strings at the end of his gigs, and to his surprise, when he announced this, a bidding war started amongst the audience. The bidding started at the back of the hall with the offer of a pack of peanuts! That first set of strings was exchanged for 2 packets of peanuts, a scone, pint of beer and cup of tea!
Then only the previous night in Totnes, a large burly bloke offered to buy Phil's guitar strings for £20 as a love token for his partner.
As Phil was telling this amusing story my mind went into overdrive. I just knew I HAD to have tonights strings as an idea for an artwork was forming in my mind and kept growing and growing. I almost had trouble concentrating on his beautiful songs as I was convinced someone else would beat me to it and I so wanted to create the painting in my mind.
But I was lucky. The strings were mine for the princely sum of £15 and I couldn't wait for the next day to start work in my studio.
The beautifully crafted cover for Phil's CD sparked off many of the ideas I wanted to incorporate.
The choice of colour way.
The album's title 'The Wreckage'.
The gorgeous letterpress typography used on the cover.
The silhouettes of birds too....
This was my first step - painting the canvas.
The top of the canvas has a small printing tray attached to it that I bought recently. I knew this was the perfect painting to use it with! It's been painted with acrylics and has metal type attached together with a feather that I'd weirdly found on the floor of my studio the afternoon before going to the concert.
The most important element of course is the guitar strings which Phil wound together for me after detaching them from his guitar.
These are pretty much as they were when I unfurled them.
They're attached with hand stitches and wrapped with painted muslin.
And here's the final piece:
I have to say, I'm really pleased with how it's turned out and just knew I had to take the time to share the process and record it for me too.