No.30 – Ela Minus

Ela Minus – Acrylic on chestnut panel

I stumbled upon the music of Ela Minus relatively recently and immediately pre-ordered the album ‘acts of rebellion’, due for release in October. You can too, here and I think you should, as (for what it’s worth) it is shaping up to be my album of the year – and I’ve only heard the three pre-released tracks.

She had sent out an email to musical followers and I wrote back, saying I need that blast of sense, anger and musical perfection. And those are just what her music and lyrics provide.

No. 29 – Mary J Blige

Close-up

Why MJB? Why MJB? People asked me around the time I was doing this.

Well, here’s least one good reason…

That’s why

Sound and production at this level filters out and back and forth with the underground and the scenes inform and influence each other. Once a song like this hits it immediately appears ‘obvious’ but it wasn’t and it isn’t.

Because… sometimes music reaches such heights of perfection that you just have to submit to it. Here’s an excerpt from the Wikpedia article on her:

In 1992, Blige released her first album, What’s the 411? Her 1994 album My Life is among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and Time magazine’s All-Time 100 Albums. She received a Legends Award at the World Music Awards in 2006, and the Voice of Music Award from ASCAP in 2007. Billboard ranked Blige as the most successful female R&B/Hip-Hop artist of the past 25 years. In 2017, Billboard magazine named her 2006 song “Be Without You” as the most successful R&B/Hip-Hop song of all time, as it spent an unparalleled 15 weeks atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and over 75 weeks on the chart. In 2011, VH1 ranked Blige as the 80th greatest artist of all time. ln 2012, VH1 ranked Blige at number 9 in “The 100 Greatest Women in Music” list.

If there isn’t a place for musicians this good on the list then please devise your own and paint your choices 🙂

Portrait progress, helpfully in random order, thanks to Google Photos’ collage algorithm
The Final Image

No.19 – Veronica Green

Yes, I realised my celebration of 25 portraits completed was not quite right – I’ve never been able to count properly… I have been following the work of VG for a while and she produces superb techno and electronica.

This portrait started out as a somewhat cartoon-like sketch. Later I began experimenting with drips and pours, ending up with a finish a bit like coloured glass.

From her Soundcloud write-up:

Veronica Green (Veronica Gudmundson) is based in London UK and in Sweden. V Green has released on Bass Agenda Recordings, Section 27: Sectioned V.5.0, v.6.0, v.7.0 and Touched 2, 3, Dalekovod V5: Crobot Muzik, and has compiled the Earthlings Compilation 1 and 2 together with ADJ. The most recent release is a vinyl release on the UK label Pyramid Transmissions. Veronica Green is also making music under the name ORGANISM together with ADJ.


She has played her live sets in various countries around Europe.

For more tracks and to purchases please go to veronicagreen.bandcamp.com

You can also hear some of her work here.

Below are some progress shots, illustrating the process. G-Photos have put them in an order for the photo-collage 🙂

And, finally, here’s a close-up, showing the glass-like surface.

No.28 – ML Buch

I first heard ML Buch’s unique sound via a mix by Smerz, who I had seen live supporting Shura at Trinity Bristol. She does weird and wonderful things with sound and synths and delivers strange unsettling narratives in deadpan ethereal. The results are devastating, addictive and completely beautiful.

No.27 – Moor Mother

Considering the lyrical content of the work and some of the specific barbs, I was hesitant to paint Moor Mother. But what the hell. Her music and poetry are completely essential. Pushing the limits of what is musically possible, challenging and opening minds.

Bandcamp Page here.

Ice – A Soundtrack

I have made my first album, inspired by the 1967 novel by Anna Kavan. Here is a complete mix of all the tracks with added snippets of the narrative recorded using text to speech.

The album will be released via Bandcamp in the autumn. I’d hoped it would be earlier bu there are tweaks to be made.

A video for track 1 will follow.

Ice – by Anna Kavan (1967), Cover Image Copyright Penguin Books