The mission of the Art of Cool (from the website):
The Art of Cool Project is a music and art advocacy project that strives to cross artistic, economic, and cultural boundaries to bring together a diverse mix of people and creativity. We are dedicated to promoting the local vibrant, varied, and surprisingly under-appreciated music and art scene. The project is a unique collaboration between the music and art communities to bring both creative mediums to supporters in an intimate concert setting. The live performances showcase and stimulate the forward-focused creative thought that is occurring on the local music and art scenes.
As a musician and artist living in a house full of musicians and artists, I was inspired by the idea of the Art of Cool Project. My son Daniel and I went to the very first concert at LLG. Al and the Quartet +1 blew me away and while I listened to the music, I snapped a few images with my iPhone. One of those images sparked a creative idea and I decided to do a digital painting of the event.
I was pleased with the way it turned out because it captured my expression of the energy of the playing and the cool vibe of the show. I shared it with Al and Cicely and John and Kelly at LLG and it was the first visual expression of the project.
I have been doing guest posts of my images from each of the shows on the Art of Cool Project blog to see all of them you can go to The Sweet Life section of the blog. Below are some of my digital art pieces inspired by the art of cool shows clicking on the images link to the articles.
This image was the beginning of my association with the Art of Cool and we now have plans for all types of cool endeavors. The main collaboration is that I will be photographing as many of the AOC shows as I possibly can attend. This page will be updated with images and digital art from the AOC shows at LLG and as many of the AOC “approved” shows that I can make. Hope you enjoy and it inspires you to go out and listen to some live. local music soon!
Chambersoul is the label Shana uses to describe her music and it is an very appropriate description. The essence of cool and smooth, Shana’s music transported me as it mixed a traditional chamber instrument into the jazz and soul realm. No one in my experience, since perhaps Bela Fleck, has really made me sit up and rethink an instrument and its place in the musical world like Shana. In addition to artful playing , Shana’s vocals are stellar, powerful and innovative as well.
I was really trying to capture the heart of this session by giving a lot of dimension to the images. Dimension was really the word that came to mind listening to Shana and the group, the layers of sound and the interplay of the players made the overall music quality very deep. In order to achieve a deeper dimension visually, I added an off-camera flash to create light in unexpected places and angles. That extra light from behind or beside the subjects really makes the colors pop off of the page and to creates added interest and depth to the Black and White images as well. Here are a few favorites in a Photo Gallery from Shana’s show:
Click on the thumbnail to see the larger version…
Talk about a contrast, the next Art of Cool project show at the Casbah in Durham featuring Yahzarah and the Beast was a driving sensory overload of a show. The playing was masterful and Yahzarah vocals were haunting and other worldly but the overall vibe to me was electric. When I went to to create a piece of digital art to commemorate this show I thought about a tool I have been experimenting with for a while but with which I never got a successful outcome. It is called the neon palette knife. I kept the background white to focus the eye on the performers and make Yahzarah and the Beast vibrate off of the page! I think I achieved that:
As I looked around the venue and felt the beat from The Beast, I got a very retro feel to the night, so I decided to go minimal and shoot without any flash to maximize the grain on the images and give a 60′s journalistic feel to the images. This made the color images go a little wonky (that is a technical photography term – meaning they reflected a color shift based on the stage lighting), but the Black and White images really gave me the feel I was looking for! Here are some of my favorites:
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image:
Saturday night The Republic was rocking to an after hours Jam Session! The Art of Cool Project strikes again! After the Boney James show the evening began with a smooth quartet starting off the music. After a few hot numbers other local players started to join in. Another sax player started it off. then a trumpet joined the fray then a soprano saxophone, a telecaster with a fender amp new players filtered in until around midnight when Al Strong and a large group of players took the jam to the next level.
Here is my gallery of images from the night:
Marcus Anderson playing a variety of saxophones wowed the packed crowd at Labourlove Gallery during the December Art of Cool Project Event. Especially exciting for the ladies in the crowd was the saxophone lap dance number. There was an abundance of fanning throughout the night and the tunes were hot too!
I started out the evening at the Casbah in Durham and joined a swinging party in progress. The art piece I did below was my attempt to capture the vibe of the New Year’s Eve celebration. I decided to use colored pencils on a black background to allow me to really be energetic with the image matching the fellows playing style…
Around 11:00, I headed across town to the Washington Duke to see Eve Cornelious playing the elegant-themed dinner dance in the Vista Restaurant
Peter Lamb and the Wolves, joined by Dave Wright on trombone, rocked labourlove on cold and rainy January evening. The latest edition of the Art of Cool Project flagship event was sold out in record time and the standing room only crowd had such a great time, that they were hanging out even once the music stopped. It reminded me of my youthful days working as a bouncer when the bar would close, the lights would go on and we began yelling the bouncer mantra, “You don’t have to go home, but you gotta get outta’ here!
What a great evening of fun, art and music! This is a vector art piece of Peter Lamb from one of my favorite photographs of the evening.
Here is a gallery of images from the night including a few with special guest Shana Tucker who joine Peter and the guys for a couple numbers at the end of the evening!
I am a husband, dad, artist, photographer and computer machine whisperer