Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Artwork Inspired by Nick Cave music

It's not always easy to get started on a drawing or painting. Staring at a blank piece of paper with no idea of what to If I want to get my imagination fired up there are a few things I can do. I might go through history books, draw from my parents' old yearbooks, or listen to music. 

That's why I love listening to artists who tell stories. And as far as I'm concerned, no one can do that better than Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. All of Cave's songs (Grinderman too) have a timeless, manly grit to them that I relate to more than any other music artist out there. 

Their album, Henry's Dream is an amazing ride full of poetic stories. John Finn's Wife gives me chills every time I hear it. The last track, Jack The Ripper is a driving rock song about a guy with an overbearing wife who reacts harshly to his sexual advances. The lyrics, mournful backing vocals and Cave's repeating "oh yeah" capture the dreadful feeling of being in a soured relationship and still having, uh, needs. 

This image started as an ink drawing in my sketchbook. It's colored digitally. 

Jack The Ripper

No More Shall We Part was the first album I picked up by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. I love it. This album is a piano drenched, roller coaster ride of emotions and themes that don't come up in most of the music out there. Careful though, when you're a guy in a dark time, this album can feel like a spotlight. I'm actually glad I don't relate to it as much as I used to. 

Hallelujah is this epic story aging, depressed writer or musician? I'm not totally sure, and that's what I love about Cave's lyrics. They are mysterious and open to interpretation. I like to have those same qualities in my artwork. Anyway, there's a line in this song:

My typewriter sat mute as a tomb and my piano sat in the corner of my room with all it's teeth bared. 

I like this line as it touches on the avoidance and fears that come when you are experiencing creative blocks. 

All It's Teeth Bared, 11"x14", inspired by Nick Cave's Hallelujah 

a 1 minute interview and live version

This piece is sort of a preview of the artwork I'm doing for an upcoming show (May 2013) in San Francisco. All the work will tell tales of love, war, travel and adventure. I'm going to have more pieces in the mix that are sparked by Nick Cave lyrics.

I wish I could show more from this show! But this work has to stay under wraps. For now, just listen.

Check out Lawless! Screenplay by Nick Cave and soundtrack created by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

Thanks for reading,

-Ben Walker

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