The Music Man

It took one whole year to get a time for a sitting with another subject, James Morrison, due to his performance and travel schedule - and then I ended up in hospital on the day of his last sitting! Still, I managed to capture the famous pursed lips that create his sought-after sound. In my painting “The Music Man” I sought to convey James Morrison’s personality. James is a world-renowned and respected Australian musician and when I talked to him and watched him play I realised that his passion for music is paramount over anything else. I felt I was painting an everyday Australian who travels to play to the world. Quiet by nature yet vibrant when playing, his colourful cheeks and solid hands indicate a hands-on approach and an agreeable nature. I sought to convey these traits by drawing the viewer’s eye to his pursed lips and fully expanded cheeks, emphasising the fullness of the effort he uses to make the sweet music admired by so many. The vibrant pink and reds in the painting hint at his love for his work whilst the cool colours of his suit shows that his personal strength comes from his versatility. The dark suit is notable for its contrast to the trendy clothing we normally associate with famous musicians. I sought to give life to the free-flowing folds of the suit by depicting them in vibrant blues. I chose an iridescent white as the base colour for my art because it gives the face an unusual shimmer and adapts to the lighting of the room. James Morrison’s worldwide fame has partly been the result of an ability to listen and give of his time in a relaxed, unassuming manner, combined with his appreciation of the music. He has played to captivated audiences worldwide and takes new challenges in his stride. Even as he blows with all his might, he is conscious of the audience reaction. I believe that it is capturing this characteristic above all else that makes “The Music Man” a satisfying depiction of the great musician.
153 x 153 cm
Artwork type: 
James Morrison
Oil on canvas