Monday, 9 July 2012


Two of Miles Davis. I’ve probably painted Davis more times that anyone else as he’s appearance changed with each new stage of his playing, I loved his early stuff, but didn’t like, or understand the later, electificated, stuff. It all sounded too computerized and the painting of him playing was done to give him a robotic appearance. It’s now in Germany.

Getting to meet him wasn’t easy because he was usually surrounded by minders. Fortunately, I was having a chat with Ronnie, in his office, one night, when Miles dropped by for a social visit. While they were chatting I sketched him with conte crayons and, when I’d finished, went to put it under my chair. He suddenly said, “Is that me?” I replied that it was, and he beckoned me to hand it over. He stared at it, nodded and said “Okay”,  then started to hand it back, thought about it and then picked up a pen from Ronnie’s desk and signed it, which was a bonus.

A bit later on, I had a drink at the bar with one of his heavies and asked him why Miles wore shades, even in a dimly lit club. The guy just grinned and said, “When he’s toting those things everyone he looks at appears to be black, so he’s happy.”


Colin Gillman said...

Great paintings, great story. Cool.

Freddie Reese said...

Once again Del,brilliant. A very life like impression of Miles Davis taking a break and a clever interpretation of him, presumably to match his latter day computerised /synthesized works.

Again Del mate you have coupled these photos with a wonderfully interesting anecdote on Miles Davis and your your passion for jaz.

Looking forward to seeing more mate.

Also, it's good to see you looking in again Colin, What has been happening in your life?.

charlie brown said...

Wonderful story, and the full lenth painting is such a different approach to horn players. Loved it.
Thank you Del.

Del said...

I always paint my portraits life size, Charlie, but don't do as many full length as I'd like because they're hard to sell, taking up a lot of wall space. That one of Miles was exhibited three times before it was bought by a guy who had a pub where he featured a couple of jazz gigs each week.

Gibson said...

Great paintings, great story. Cool.

Franzxpcc said...

Great paintings, great story. Cool.