Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Searching by David R. Darrow 8" x 8" (20.3cm x 20.3cm)
Oil on Canvas on Birch Panel Available in my eBay Store
Price: $350.00 — Or Make an Offer

About This Painting

I met this fascinating fellow when I stopped in at a local place for a cold drink on a summer day four or five years ago.

He recently posed for me.

There are some days here on the California coast that simply insist that you pour something soothing down your parched throat, further demanding that it had better have the right flavor.

I am not much of a fan of beer.

Not since I got spoiled by the hand-crafted ale made at Carlsbad Brewing Company's Pizza Port right here in my town. To someone who has not found delight in award-winning ale versus a cold beer, I can only describe it as the difference between, say, Yuban or Folgers coffee and a cup of espresso made with a fine Italian espresso machine and the skilled barista creating it.

So, when I stopped in for a chilled ale one day a few years ago, I met Dave. Well, you don't really meet Dave. Dave is part of the atmosphere at Pizza Port.

You experience Dave.

This day he was — as he always is, I have since learned — working on his own personal record on the pinball machine, on which he also held the game's top score until his 15-year-old daughter recently topped him.

When Dave has had enough of the machine that eventually always wins, he backs away, gives it a respectful chin-up reverse nod, and goes out to the outer courtyard with his now-warm glass of ale and mingles with the crowd. Sometimes he retrieves his white-lacquer, steel-string, acoustic guitar from someone who has been "watching it for him" and breaks into just about any popular tune, folk or rock, from the 1950s on forward. He seemingly knows them all.

Dave has done just about everything, I recently learned when I sat down with him and talked mano y mano for about three hours. He's done carpentry, accounting, ditch-digging, welding, auto-mechanic, you name it... but what he always wanted to be — and still laments that it never happened for him despite years on the circuit — was a professional musician. He plays several instruments, wails on the guitar, sings with a decent rock-baritone-to-second-tenor, powerful voice, possesses a performer's heart, and has a head full of knowledge about anything from the US government, crack-pot laws, rock and roll, automobiles and biblical eschatology — the latter being the topic of the bulk of the conversation for those three hours.

The conversation was lively and kept my attention well-enough... but part of the way through, and as a complete non-sequitur — since there really is no way to ease up to such a thing — I cut in with, "Hey, can I paint your portrait?" If I didn't ask him at that moment, I would not be able to listen attentively to much more of the conversation, since, despite the engaging subject, my mind was already beginning to get lost in color mixes and the direction of my brushstrokes in the painting of him I was doing in my head while his voice seemed to be fading into echoing oblivion.

He replied with a twinkle in his eye that by such a request he could tell I chose only the finest-looking models to paint, and that he could therefore trust me as a great artist, and that he would gladly pose. Then he bellowed a hearty laugh and raised his glass of ale for me to do the same.

We clinked the deal right there, and went on talking about the Bible the rest of the night. I am glad to have gotten to know Dave.

I know I will paint him again.  ◙

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Stella Violano said...

This is an incredible painting. I love the brushstrokes and living color. BRAVO!

Fayrene Parrish said...

"Wow"....This is sensational. Especially the emotional content. Reminds me of Nicolai Fechin. Fayrene Parrish

m collier said...

Your commentary is always great -- you have captured this character -- very nice.

C. Ousley said...

Ditto on Fechin. This cat looks like a... well a character. That beer sounded good. I like all your commentaries... Oh yes and the paintings!

gallery212 said...

nice painting.