In 2015, I was commissioned by Double Tree Hotel in Austin, TX to paint five works addressing Texas music. In an effort to showcase a diverse spectrum of Texas artists, I chose to paint five well-known musicians whose work spans many decades, styles and genres; Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, Beyoncé, Selena and Willie Nelson. From pop to Tejano, to folk, country, rock & roll and R&B music, these musicians epitomize what it means to be from Texas.
I used found imagery and my own personal photography to create subtle archetypes of each artist. I chose the rugged landscape of West Texas as the backdrop for Willie Nelson's stoic portrait to reflect his free-spirit and country roots. For Janis Joplin, I mixed a sunset from the Chisos Basin in Big Bend with a psychedelic sky to capture her blues influence and vibrant energy. I blended Buddy Holly's classic head shot with bright cacti and warm vintage postcard hues to recall his youth in Lubbock and an era of early rock and roll. I placed a proud stance of Tejano legend Selena over a foil-like pattern, giving her the effect of being covered in diamonds and crystals, and I chose to surround Beyoncé with the hands of children and wildflowers to portray her goddess-like persona and reach.
I had four months to complete all five 7 x 6 foot oil paintings, beginning in October of 2015. I started with Willie Nelson (which took about four weeks), then started Janis Joplin and Buddy Holly. During the holidays I started Selena, and the last piece I finished was Beyoncé. Needless to say, the process was very exhausting and time-consuming, but I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.
Please contact me for a viewing! christa at christapalazzolo dot com