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Blackbird- A Paul McCartney/ Beatles Tribute

by David Finley


How do you convey the emotion of 'hope' as an artist?

Hope is a strong and powerful emotion, much more complex than just happiness or relief. It inspires and connects. Hope is beautiful.

 So, as I began my second piece in my Beatles series, this time dedicated to Paul, I faced the challenge of trying to create visually, the message of hope McCartney so eloquently captured with his music and lyrics. It was a much different challenge then capturing the raw emotion of 'Don't Let Me Down' in my Lennon piece before.

 'Blackbird' is a simple song of sweet vocals backed only by an acoustic guitar, and a light tapping for percussion. Through the song, Paul McCartney lightly builds tension by progressing upward with his chords, then gently releases that tension by coasting back down again. It's almost like listening to a fairy tale where you know in the end, all will live happily ever after.

 The challenge of producing such strong feelings visually proved very difficult, with my first attempt not quite portraying the emotion as effectively as I would have liked.

version 1- okay, but not quite what I was shooting for.
 I think I captured sweet and simple, but didn't quite convey the warmth of hope. There needed to be a bit more warmth visually, and a higher degree of tension for the purposes of contrast. So, I warmed the color scheme, created areas of dense, angular tension, and used open negative space for the bird and McCartney's face to show freedom.

 So that's how I approached showing, "hope" from a visual standpoint. In the end, I'm much happier with the new results. With that said, I leave you today with a Youtube video of Paul McCartney working on 'Blackbird' in the studio.



Thanks for reading!

-Dave, Grand Poobah of all Scofflaws

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