Portfolio > Oil Paintings/Charcoal Drawings_Old Time Songs & Stories

* To enlarge, click the image's upper right corner *
* For commentary about this drawing, scroll down *

Gourd Banjo 4
Gourd Banjo 4
Charcoal on Paper
24" x 18"

In this drawing, I'm playing a gourd banjo that I made. I play this same banjo in my painting "Communitas." I had just finished making this banjo, and in addition to endlessly playing it, I wanted to draw it a lot. I made many drawings of me playing my gourd, many of which I show here in this gallery.

I talked about what this instrument symbolizes in "Communitas," but here I'd like to talk about its personal meaning. I bought a gourd banjo kit. It came with a dried gourd and a partially roughed out neck. Building instructions came with this kit. I decided to do something not typically seen on a gourd banjo: I inlaid the neck with Mother-of-Pearl. I drew and engraved my dad's portrait; he had only the year before died. I feel his presence a lot. Always taking an interest in what his two sons were up to, he would have gotten such a kick out of my taking up the banjo! He's in the middle of the inlaid surface, but below and above him I drew his favorite flowers, Daffodils. I should have included some clouds and the imagery would have been complete, for he loved and often recited Wordsworth's poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud."