Harmon’s Peak

Tombow brushpen and waterbrush
I drew this while Harmon's Peak sang Buffalo Gals, a song from the 19th century that's still a terrific song in the 21st century.

The best part of the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival was the jamming that took place after the amplified music stopped. There was music all night long—of course bluegrass, but also old time, blues, jazz, and a group of folks having a dance party while they played bluegrass tinged Beatles, R&B, and disco. By 1 am I was exhausted, and I drifted off to sleep under a nearly full moon, hearing banjos, fiddles, guitars, and stand-up bass in the campsite 3 spaces over. Sheer heaven.

The amount of talented folks in everyday life astounds me. People go crazy for superstars, but there’s a lot of people out there who are top-notch musicians. They might even be living next door to you!

The next morning my husband’s band, Harmon’s Peak played. They’re an old time string band, which is a different style of music, but it’s part of the roots of bluegrass. As you can see, they’re the best dressed old time band in the Bay Area.

Harmon's Peak
Harmon's Peak

The fiddler

Art on Fiddle

This is a painting of my husband in his costume for his old time band Harmon’s Peak. He was practicing before a gig and I snapped a few shots of him.

For the past 3 years I’ve studied watercolor with Steve Curl at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto, California. I’ve learned a great deal from him, particularly how to plan a watercolor, and then not be afraid of the paint. We work primarily from photos, which some artists think is cheating, but I always make my own drawing rather than projecting or tracing. And Steve always cautions us  to not slavishly copy the photo, but to make a painting out of it. That may mean altering the photo a bit, leaving out the background, adding a tree, or rearranging the elements in the picture. In this painting I had to make up the light source, as I had used a flash for the photo and it washed out the nice home lighting that made me take the photo.