Illustrating the Soul Siren Erykah Badu!

Photo of Watercolor Painting of "Soul Siren Song" Erykah Badu tribute featuring artist as mermaid floating on jukebox in a sea of records
"Soul Siren Song" - Watercolor, Ink, Paper

Erykah Badu, for anyone that really knows me, is one of my favorite performers/artists.  I first encountered her on the Today Show I think, or similar morning talk show.  I was on summer vacation in 1997, and TV was first priority of course. 

 

My background as a music lover up to this point was eclectic in my opinion, but my first love was Hip-Hop and R&B.  I hadn't heard much from the Soul genre, but I knew of it, but was not yet hooked completely, until this one morning. Living in the country in small town Texas, I was not privy to music outside of pop and country, much to my chagrin.  So I had to discover music on TV,  MTV, BET, and later online.  I soon joined a music club, where I could get 11 CDs for a one penny!  I jumped at the chance and Erykah's Baduizm was mine.  I listened to it over and over devouring what seemed to be new knowledge, a new artform, a new language.  She opened the door to a new world for me.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am in Dallas, her hometown, pursuing my dreams as an artist.  In that we are akin.  One day I hope to be on her radar,  perhaps as an artist that has worked on her album art.


This was a super fun piece to create.  It all came about while thinking of a piece for the Kettle Art Gallery in Deep Ellum.  When I think of Deep Ellum I think of seeing my first concert of Erykah's at the Prophet Bar.  She was actually doing her DJ set as DJ Low Down Loretta Brown.  I got my life that night!  I even appeared in press photos online because I was front row!

e. Badu performing at the Prophet Bar Deep Ellum Texas
e. Badu performing at the Prophet Bar
Johnny front row at Erykah Badu DJ Low Down Loretta Brown DJ set and performance at Prophet Bar, Deep Ellum Texas
Me and my friend Alexis front right
e. Badu performing at the Prophet Bar Deep Ellum Texas
e. Badu performing again

If felt only right to pay tribute to her as so many artists have before me, especially with this being my first time exhibiting in Deep Ellum.  I decided to combine her with fish inspired by her album covers, along with my passion for fantasy.  I came up with "Soul Siren Song". 

progress photos

Photo of progress on Soul Siren Song by Johnny Perez JohnnyPerezArt.com
Progress photo by Johnny Perez of artwork Soul Siren Song johnnyperezart.com

Soul Siren Song Watercolor painting by Johnny Perez framed for exhibition at Kettle Art Gallery
Framed for "For the Love of Artists" Exhibition
View of two paintings in watercolor by Johnny Perez Soul Siren Song and Song of the Sea johnnyperezart.com
Both pieces on view at Kettle Art Gallery

 I was allowed a second piece in the gallery as well,  so I came up with a companion piece, "Song of the Sea" that I'm happy came out very well!  It features a clam far up on a hill playing one of the greatest treasures on earth, music!  The record plays, as other clams have fallen to the side with nothing to offer but worthless rocks called pearls.

Song of the Sea Framed Watercolor Painting clamshell playing record
Song of the Sea watercolor painting companion to Soul Siren song clamshell as record player on a hill of clams and pearls

preliminary sketches

preliminary sketch of Soul Siren Song by Johnny Perez watercolor art
Painted Preliminary Sketch

I hope you enjoyed this inside look! Please leave me a comment if you have any questions about these works, or want to see details of others!

 

I will also be setting a price list soon for your convenience!  So stay tuned for that, sign up for my newsletter below for personal updates from me, and thanks so much for viewing my site!

Preliminary sketch of Soul Siren Song by Johnny Perez Watercolor Art
Progress on Sketch
Song of the Sea, clamshell record player
Original sketch for the Song of the Sea

Erykah-Badu.com - Official Erykah Badu fansite

Erykah Badu and Discography on Wikipedia

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About the Artist

 I would call myself a Jack of all Trades, but mostly because I'm interested in many areas of art if not all!  I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from the University of North Texas with a focus on Watercolor.   I always had dreams of creative writing, and in 5th grade I wasn't too bad!  Art clearly won out for my attention, but writing will always have a place in my heart!

What better way to write, I say,  than to share a blog, and practice my second love while talking about my first! With that said, I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and please hit me up with any questions.  :D

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