Day 7. Put Me in, Coach.

“Put Me in, Coach” 6×6, oil on canvas Buy Now

This is the third painting in my musicians series and the second child playing a ukulele. I didn’t specifically seek out children playing instruments, but the reason both today and day 5 work for me is that these kids in particular have yet to get to that self-conscious stage that renders their efforts less sincere.

I’ve not seen as many adults play this way– most seem painfully aware of their audience, their hands.

As far as painting goes, It is both challenging and freeing to attempt a looser figure than even I am accustomed to. I’ve got to be more mindful so that I don’t slip into autopilot and start painting details that I’m trying not to include because they would only distract from the overall spirit of the painting.

I have mixed feelings about the composition here. I’ve cut off the bottom of the legs and I’m trying to decide if such a crop renders the whole thing a bit awkward. I think, were I to try it again, I’d move the whole image up toward the top of the canvas. What do you think?

I’m still looking for photos of musicians to continue my series. If you want to be my model, please leave an image in the comments or tag on instagram with #paintmejam

Now that all that’s out of the way, please meet Caleb, another spirited young musician who is about nine in the video:

Day 5. In a bit of a Jam Session

“Lucy” 6×6, oil on canvas Buy Now

My day 3 painting left me excited, energized, and ready to do more. These types of paintings challenge me because I’m trying to eliminate details I usually emphasize in order to capture what I think is the spirit of the image. It’s a little stressful; I have to use mantras I learned in my son’s karate class: “focus, self-control, anything is possible!”

I asked for people to send me pin-worthy photographs of themselves or someone they know playing an instrument, and though I did not get very many, the ones I did receive did not disappoint.

Meet precocious nine-year old Lucy who plays the ukulele like a pro. Her dad sent me some incredible photos of her which I based today’s painting on. I think she kind of looks like an adult in the painting, but maybe that’s what I was going for– she is talented beyond her years.

Have a listen (she was just 8 in this video and had been playing for just three months!)


I’m more jazzed than ever about this little series and want to keep adding to it. Help a lady out and send me a photo of you or someone you know being a rockstar? I’d love it if you’d drop it in the comments, but if you have trouble, just email me! [email protected]

Don’t forget that every painting this month is 20% off the day it’s posted. If you don’t want to miss any of my 31 paintings this month, make sure you’re subscribed to this blog (you can enter your email if you scroll to the top right of this page…right next to Lucy’s head in the painting). 

See ya tomorrow for day 6!