Greg Lake has been one of my favorite rock heroes since the 70's. Best known for his work with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, a pioneer of Progressive Rock. Personally, I think his incredible voice and talent transcend any genre. There is a timeless quality about his hauntingly beautiful melodies and acoustic guitar.
For a long time I wanted to do a piece which really reflected his magic onstage. For the theme I time I chose a well loved song from his past ( "Moonchild" by King Crimson) as the inspiration for the painting's narrative, perfect for that moody ethereal atmosphere I wanted to create. Add his iconic white jacket and one of his guitars used during a US tour around the height of ELP's huge popularity during the 70's, and the stage is set. Most of all, I wanted it to evoke feeling and memory beyond that of a photo, in a way that a fan in the audience might recall his performance.
Even though I had never experienced Greg Lake in concert with ELP during the 70's, I did have the chance to see him perform this during his "Songs of a Lifetime" tour in April 2012. I couldn't find the right words to describe how I felt, so painting was the best way to express it.
note: I think "Moonchild" was Greg's favourite, of the illustrations I've done for him, and he used it as his Facebook avatar. When he commented on how much he liked it personally, I felt truly grateful that I'd been able to give him such a gift. When we'd met during his tour, I had given him some paintings, including an oil study, but I was never truly satisfied with any of them. He told me to 'please stay in touch', and I couldn't let him down. This one had to be iconic.
Click the "Work in Progress" button below to see the process I used when creating this piece.
*I also did a digital illustration of Greg Lake from the 2012 songs of a Lifetime Tour, (many versions, actually) when he was 65. Although most people associate RnR with their younger selves, there must be some room to honor older musicians with the grace and wisdom of their years. So I will add some here that I reflect his legacy from past to present (2012)