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with original portraits on vinyl.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Steps Back (Or, What Is Vinyl Art?)

The Beatles - Vinyl Art

The yang to the yin of progress is steps back.

We take steps back to see the bigger picture.
We take steps back to get perspective.
We take steps back to regain balance.
We take steps back to learn from mistakes.

My dad likes to say that our feet point forwards for a reason. True, but sometimes one needs to look back. Our heads do turn enough around to see.

You are reading the blog of Daniel Edlen. Me.

I handpaint portraits of musicians and entertainers on vinyl recordings of their performances.

I call it Vinyl Art. After filing the necessary paperwork, I discovered the existence of vinyl art toys. Oh well.

I came up with the idea as a teenager back around '92. My dad had turned me onto The Beatles on vinyl, and my mom volunteered at the library handling used book and record donations. I got first pick of the records, which didn't sell well. Amassing duplicates of my favorite albums, the idea hit me after a high school art project I did using white pencil on black paper. I did about 6 of them and lost interest.

I began selling them after work-friends suggested I see if people'd go for them as holiday gifts back in '06. Fortunately I could still paint, maybe a bit better than before, following years of sculpting people out of clay.

I use only white acrylic paint, dabbing it on with small brushes which wear out very quickly.

I show them at a few galleries, I participate in every show of artwork using vinyl records I find out about, and, yes, I do commissions. I love doing commissions the most. The best is when someone has the record they want me to paint on.

See, I do this to make the world a better place as I can. My story has become about connecting people with people, with their culture, with their memories, with their music. It makes people feel warm inside to think about their music. The troubles and destruction and negativity in the world quiet for a moment.

My story has also become about giving. Giving Vinyl Art as a gift works out well for all involved. And giving to charity through my art does too. I've done it enough that it warranted a category, which you can find in my table of contents to your right.

That brings me to this blog. I started it partly as a journal of my trials and tribulations as a self-employed self-promoting artist, and partly to expand the knowledge of my work. It's become a very important outlet for me, especially after my brother-in-law Jason died suddenly this past February. A kind of therapy. But also a way to connect myself to my art, to make it meaningful.

I know that the mere idea of portraits on vinyl might seem gimmicky or hokey and the pieces might not fit into typical art world categories, but it is the passion for music which motivates me. You can find many examples throughout this blog of how that expresses itself. Through stories about the musicians, about the galleries, about the people commissioning pieces, about the people getting them as gifts, about the charities, and about me.

I, Daniel Edlen, the artist, am in this blog.

So I continue.


SOLD - The Beatles 12/12/08


seth godin said...

Thanks for writing this, and for the work you do.

Chris Guillebeau said...

I agree. Keep it up!

MaryAnne Fisher said...

Your work, your giving and this post are inspirational, Daniel.

Thank you.

d.edlen said...

@Seth, Chris and MaryAnne - Thank you so much for the kind comments. As I continue, your thoughts inspire.

musicobsesion said...

I am also in support of you...

Favian? said...

Great piece and equally great words.