Hello, I’m David Sockrider, I’m an artist and designer that loves little more than attending live music with a big crew of good friends.
While always having a love of live music and being creative, my design work turned to poster design for concerts and festivals including being the Wakarusa poster contest winner in 2005 and 2006.
While being a guest visual artist at the 10,000 Lakes Festival in Minnesota I had my first chance to paint live during Widespread Panic. It was such a great experience to be able to paint while at the live show. Being outside, listening to such powerful music, I was able to sling paint around and feel the vibe so much more than just painting in my living room. The interaction with the fans and the overall scene was just so much fun to take part in.
After moving to Colorado in 2011, I was unemployed for 11 months. While looking for a full-time design position as a web developer I began to utilize my free time by painting. During my time unemployed, I started TourPaintings.com and started to focus my work on live musical performances.
With favorites like Widespread Panic, The Grateful Dead and many other jam, rock and bluegrass bands, I try to attend as many shows as possible. It is now my mission to create a painting of every show I attend.
While painting live is great, I create most paintings in my living room. I take several photos at the show and combine the best ones to create a scene to paint. I usually listen to the band I’m painting while it’s in process to get the vibe of the music. I’ll even listen to that exact show over and over if it’s available online.
In my paintings, I try to capture my experience of the show from the location I was standing. In my paintings, I try to capture the energy of the crowd just as much as the energy of the music. I especially like including my friends that attended, even if it’s just a sillouette or quick rendition. The lighting at a show is a special challenge to recreate due to being dynamic and constantly changing. While creating the lighting at first was frustrating and challenging, I’ve grown to enjoy creating the different complex lighting situations.
My favorite medium is liquid acrylic on 300 lb. water color paper. I apply layer after layer after layer of paint to get intense color variations. While I usually consider myself a realist, I enjoy combining a healthy dose of abstract elements to show energy and motion. I usually focus on the band in a realist way, but move to more abstract elements in the surrounding stage and crowd.
I’m inspired by Frederic Remington and the lighting in his paintings of people around campfires at night. Albert Bierstadt and Steve Hanks are also artists I admire for their use of lighting. To show the energy of the music and the chaos of the crowd I like using a Jackson Pollock technique of just splattering paint around.
In the future, I hope to show in a gallery and enable myself to focus more on painting live shows. I have a dream of being able go on extended road trips with friends, viewing my favorite bands, traveling from show to show creating paintings along the way.