Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Stars-n-Jars", my entry for April's 'Things in Jars' Nibblefest Theme

New artwork...!

"Stars-n-Jars": A trio of 4x6 oil paintings in tribute to to three legendary female Country Music icons

Dolly, Loretta and Tammy"

Goodness gracious (great balls of fire), this past month really flew by.  Flew!  It's Nibblefest Art Contest week here again already, with yet another stimulating theme to contemplate.  April's theme...? 
"Things in Jars".

So how serendipitous is it that I just happened to have three small 'mason-jar' shaped wooden plaques in my stash...???   I picked these little guys up last year at a second hand shop for practically pennies.  I thought they were cute enough, and had the potential to be interesting -- but with no particular plans for them, they've been sitting around taking up space.  Upon hearing of April's theme however, I just knew I *HAD* to somehow use them to enter this month, come hell or high water.   It was meant to be!

It did still take a little while for me to come up an idea as to what my actual "things", for "Things in Jars", were to be exactly.  I ruminated for quite some time.  I needed three 'things' that related to each other.  And which would somehow be suitable painted upon a mason-jar.  It took awhile, but once I had the whisper of a concept in my head, I decided to just run with it.  Thus we have here what ended up to be a little 3-way portrait series, painting in loving tribute to a trio of female Country Music legends, my chosen STARS(-n-Jars...!).




The following is my auction description....:

(Dolly Parton * Loretta Lynn * Tammy Wynette)

My entry for this month's Nibblefest Art Contest (NFAC), the theme for April being "Things in Jars", features a fun trio of wee portraits painted in loving tribute to three classic Stars of Country Music:  
Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette

Painted in oils upon three 4" x 6" found 'mason jar'-shaped wooden plaques, this set of 3 original pieces are all signed and ready to hang as a grouping.

(*NOTE:  This is for a 3-Day Auction)

I've long been looking forward to this particular theme!  Some time ago, I picked up three wee, 'mason jar'-shaped wood plaques at a 2nd hand shop. Clueless as to how I might use them at the time, I was intrigued nevertheless and so brought them home.  Imagine how delighted I was to later find out "Things in Jars" was an upcoming theme...!  

So fine, I now knew exactly what I would be painting ON..., while still stumped as to what my exactly subject matter should BE. I kicked around a few concepts, when "Stars-in-Jars" randomly came to mind.  Hmmm, perhaps a fun trio of celebrity portraits?  But which celebrities exactly???  That's when it hit me: What Stars could possibly be more fitting featured upon "Mason Jars", than Dolly, Loretta and Tammy -- three beloved classic country music Divas, all of whom rising from extraordinarily humble, hard-scrabble beginnings to become beloved, world-renown talents, thanks to their amazing singing/songwriting and musicianship. This small set of "Stars-n-Jars" is my own tribute to these legendary women.




So ok, here's the thing.  While I can't say I've ever personally been a huge fan of the country music genre (particularly the contemporary stuff)...?   I did grow up in the 70's listening to the country-western classics, thanks to my dad.  His radio was (and still is) permanently tuned to the local country-western station.  He just loved it.  Always a project of some kind going on in the garage or basement, I have strong memories growing up of the music playing while he was working on his hobbies, with him whistling cheerily along.  There was also the weekly Saturday night "Hee-Haw" watching ritual (who remembers that old program...?), that went on for years and years in my youth.  Like everyone else, we had only the one TV back then -- and at 6:00 p.m. every Saturday night my dad claimed it for his own.  Without fail.  He would always pop corn on the stovetop for the occasion.   And of course I was bored enough from the little else to do back then than to just watch "Hee-Haw" too.  But as much as I told myself that I didn't like it, or protested about having to listen to the Country station on car trips, those old melodies got seared into my brain -- exposure that ended up giving me a real soft spot for the Country Music classics, in spite of myself, lol....  

And so, yes, while there may be a certain small element of 'tongue in cheek' within my entry here, please know that I really do have deep respect for these accomplished women -- Dolly, Loretta and Tammy.  I've read Loretta Lynn's autobiographical book, "Coal Miner's Daughter", and have seen the film several times, documentaries, as well as having read the histories of Dolly Parton and Tammy Wynette through the years.  All three of these ladies were challenged from such hardscrabble backgrounds -- isloation, inadequate education, poverty (and thus I believe a canning jar to be a quite reasonable symbol of such shared humble beginnings!  (In fact Loretta Lynn was an expert canner as a young wife and mother before her career took off, having won numerous Country Fair blue ribbons)).  And yet, thanks to their amazing musical talents, all three overcame tremendous obstacles (including but no limited to, at least in the case of Loretta and Tammy, teen motherhood and troubled relationships) to rise to such astonishing heights of fame -- especially remarkable given the male-dominance of their industry back in the '60's and '70's.  But, they were all trail blazers -- doing their own thing while going on to set a standard for the role of women within their genre.  And it's not simply that they all had such strong, beautiful singing voices -- which of course they did.  But they also wrote most of their own material -- the melodies and the lyrics, hundreds of albums between them.  That takes a truly special talent.  And they all had it, in spades (with Dolly and Loretta still having it...!).

Lastly, I just want to make mention that these are oil paintings, my first since studying art in college.  I have always adored oil painting, but simply found acrylic paint to be more practical these many years since, for a variety of reasons.  And I do still like acrylics, and will probably still find occasion to use them.   However, having recently invested in oil paints, and having so much fun re-acquainting myself with them, I think it's a safe bet to say you can expect many more oil paintings from me in the future....