Searching for the Blues

So I’m studying the Blues. Strictly armchair. I’d often read that the Blues were important to modern music, but I couldn’t _hear_ how they were important. So I started listening to old Blues, to try to suss out the bits that had filtered down. I couldn’t find them. See, I was looking for tiny details, focusing on small parts of the sound– focusing so close on the bark of a tree that the forest was completely lost to me. It wasn’t until I started trying to play them that I began to see.

There would be no country music without the Blues. There would be no rock. No jazz. Even the various electronic genres owe a debt to the Blues. All good modern music (‘good’ in my opinion, of course) to come from America flows directly from the Blues. Because the Blues were where African aesthetics of rhythm were joined with European aesthetics of harmony. This is a big deal to me.

here are some quick sketches of a couple of my favorites thus far:

Robert Johnson

‘Mississipi’ Joe Callicott

John Lee Hooker

somewhere around here I’ve got drawings of R.L. Burnside and T-Model Ford as well. Posts ’em when I finds ’em.

What’s in a name?

All things change. Who am I to resist? I’ve changed the name of my website for several reasons, and I don’t know you well enough to get into all of them. Suffice it to say I was bored, and looking to muck things up a little bit.

So what does Polymanic mean? The short answer is that I’m not really sure. Poly means ‘many’, and the suffix -mania denotes an obsession or madness towards something.

So is polymania an obsession on things in large groups, or a large group of obsessions? Is there a difference?

I don’t know, and that’s why I chose this name.

Red Kali

I consider this to be another in my Kali series– but my more recent Kalis seem to have less traditional imagery, and more of my own. Does this mean they shouldn’t be called Kalis anymore? Maybe. But I’ll keep calling them that anyway. This one I have mixed feelings about. I’m embarrassed I didn’t ‘play up’ the wonky drawing, instead I tried to hide what was wrong. Since my own approach seems very much to involve mistakes and flaws as central elements, it’s a bit antithetical (did I use that word right?) to try to cover up my problems. But I just loooove the color. Oh yeah baby.

IF: Sport

So I skipped a week or two. Get over it. I was going to skip this one as well, til a friend’s sketches for the theme pointed out to me that I was in a rut, and the whole point of doing IF was to try new things. :) How soon we forget.