Sunday, October 4, 2015

[New Piece] Red Man, A Tribute, Part One

"Red Man, A Tribute" • 12.5"X6" • graphite pencil, watercolor

Last weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting one of my heroes, David Eugene Edwards.

My husband Jamie got me into his music a few years ago, but in this last year or two it has really taken hold of me. I think my obsession with Bison and this nostalgia for a lost wilderness dovetailed with the haunting Gothic Americana of Wovenhand and the dark, mountain bluegrass of his earlier project, 16Horsepower. Much of the stuff in his lyrics are rich in Christian imagery, holy and humble, and speaks of a God that is at once terrifying and tender. There were times that the music of Wovenhand was the only thing that kept me believing in YHWH, or at least kept me wanting Him to be real.

Suffice it to say that this music has become part of my "life soundtrack," if you will, and it means a lot to me. And fronting all of it is the strange, enigmatic, rock star from Denver named David Eugene Edwards. You guys, he's just SO COOL.

So here's the story:

When Chelsea Wolfe announced that she was touring with Wovenhand I was thrilled... seriously, there could not be a better match made in heaven for a rock show in my opinion. We've seen Wovenhand in concert twice before so I was only a little disappointed that their set was less than an hour before Chelsea Wolfe took the stage (she'll get a future post). Once her show began I was feeling overcrowded and overheated so I wiggled my way out of the packed black-clad crowd to get some fresh air in the lobby.

"Red Man" with raw edges
Lo and behold, striding out ahead of me was none other than the ONE and ONLY David Eugene Edwards. I tried to act natural as I got a drink from the fountain while keeping an eye on his whereabouts, debating with myself whether or not to talk to him and trying to work up the courage to do so. He was by the merch tables talking to some other folks while I bought a t-shirt and pin, and then suddenly he was looking at me and I was walking up to him and he shook my hand and asked me "how are you?" and I said "good! How are you?" and he said "good!" and I said "um, uh, um, I love your work!" and sort of motioned towards the main hall where he had just played, clinging to my new Wovenhand t-shirt and tour pin with both hands and a big dumb grin on my face. I babbled a bit about how I also liked 16 Horsepower and enjoyed his facebook posts, and he was very gracious and thanked me for buying stuff and asked me what my name was and then shook my hand again and we parted ways and that was that. I remember saying "thank you" a lot, and I remember that he was very kind and warm and normal which I guess surprised me because he has a bizarre kind of other-wordly stage presence.

I made my way up to the balcony to listen to Chelsea Wolfe's performance. At that point I was going over and over in my head about this 30 second conversation I just had with another human being, sort of horrified but excited. I'm still embarrassed by how star-struck I was, and by the subsequent 24-hour anxiety attack I had over it, but c'est la vie.

"Red Man" detail
Once I recovered from my brief encounter with David Eugene Edwards, I decided to make a small tribute to him out of paper, pencil and paint. During the show I had this idea for two pieces, one for him and one for Chelsea, which would both complement each other and stand on their own, as both of these artists do. At first I was worried that it was too fangirlish, but then I thought "oh well" and did it anyway.

This is the first band/musician tribute I've finished (not the first I've started, and hopefully not the last I'll finish). I don't really know what to do with it now. Should I send it to him? David Eugene Edwards, if you're reading this and you want a drawing of yourself from your tour with Chelsea Wolfe in 2015, please tell me how to get it to you. Also send me a photo of your left arm so I can finish drawing your tattoo first. Thank you!

EDIT: Found a pic on @sargenthouse's instagram of his arm. NOW IT IS COMPLETE.

♥ Ciara Kay

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