Pro Bono Projects and Off to Wheatland

Keenan, music

Still maintaining a holding pattern on a couple of book projects, and with a couple vacations coming up this month, am starting to get a little anxious about deadlines. Over the labor day weekend, we headed to Chicago to check out my son’s new apartment, and rode downtown on rental bikes to check out some of the Jazz Festival. My son asked me if I’d consider doing some ‘fan art’ for his jazz/funk band (they use a quartet of owls in a lot of their promotional material), so when I got home I began working up an image for them, that might work as a cd cover, if they so wish. (click on the image to get a bigger view) A fun change of pace for me, in a year that has been mostly scratchboard/black and white line art.

Another refreshing pro bono project that I did a few weeks back, was painting and decorating a contraption for the ‘kids hill’ at the Wheatland Music Festival. My bandmate Craig organizes a ‘build a musical instrument’ activity for kids every year at this music festival, and this year the kids are constructing their own mini washboard (made from a tin can that has been ‘crimped’ using a contraption that he built using an old exercise bike). I’ll try and get a picture of the finished device when I’m up there this weekend, but here’s a photo of the stripped down skeleton that we painted in his front yard. Using stencils, spray paint and a piece of window screen, this was a fun experiment in ‘on the fly’ design and ‘happy accidents’ (none of the ideas that I planned on using to decorate it was working out the way I imagined, so I ended up doing a lot of ‘playing around’ until we stumbled upon the methods that eventually worked).

Last year was my first time attending this music festival (despite the fact that my Father owned a summer cabin not 15 minutes from this annual gathering for over a decade in the 90s, without my ever getting curious enough to check it out), and this year will be the first time that our entire band will be attending, so it should be a fun weekend of jamming late into the night, and then back to real life again on Monday.