Paul McMillan

 Still Life Painting

"When The Devil Beats His Wife"
48" x48" Image
54" x 54" framed
Words and Music by Paul McMillan
Oil on Panel
No. 275
Jurors Award
"92nd Annual Spring Show"
Erie Art Museum
Erie, PA
Museum Quality Frame
Custom wood molding / velvet liner / corner screws
Frame does not gouge or damage painting surface
54" x 54" x 3"deep, framed
In this Still Life Painting, "When The Devil Beats His Wife," an original oil on panel, I was interested in creating an image of a classical guitar, sheet music with legible notation. Perhaps I over did it. In any event there first thing I did was write a Wild West Texas ballad and work out a kind-a part Texan, part Spanish, part Gypsy rhythm for a Spanish classical guitar that needs to roll on the words and lets the fingers leaving the strings of one chord sound off at transition to the next chord allowing the lifted fingers to hammer the next notes down without the right hand even getting involved.
I lived in Texas and jail breaks did happen in Palo Pinto and all the commotion inspired me to write this song and as the resultant fantasy of once again living in my head as a cowboy on the loose out in west Texas who is falsely accused and escapes the hanging tree which in truth and reality did exist in Palo Pinto, a tree which was well used, so to speak and in any event the escapees who inspired this musical creation which I set to paint were soon apprehended across the street from the courthouse - jail house after a three day county-wide man hunt for two escapees on a misdemeanor charges. Hundreds of Law enforcement officials were involved in this Texas-styled man-hunt including the Texas Rangers as they scoured one of the largest counties in Texas. The escapees evidently went straight across the street got the stashed clothes which were left for them behind a beer-joint cafe with three cute little rental units off to one side. Once properly suited up in civilian duds they went in the front door of the place and rented a unit with a window overlooking the front steps of the Palo Pinto County Court House and jail from which they had just escaped. Some how these jail-bird escapees had enough money to buy several cases of beer and basic supplies to consume while enjoying the room with the best view in the county at this time. After several days two and two got put together and the more than a little bit inebriated escapees were hand-cuffed and taken back across the street and returned to their jail cells. In any event it's still not easy being a cowboy even in a West Texas Cow-Poke day dream set to music.
The Phrase "When the Devil beats his wife" is derived from Mexican Vaqueros who say that when there is thunder and sunshine at the same time the Devil is beating his wife. Still not making sense? Imagine being in a heard of angry longhorn cattle when there is thunder and lightning, in other words All hell is fixing to break loose. The way I see it that's just part of being a cowboy. And as a note I used the words Quando el Diablo patalano la Vieha ( which means "When the Devil beats his wife"in English ) as the words to form the melody and the guitar music as seen in this creation. This artwork only has room for the guitar part. If you read music then enjoy. If you don't read music please consider learning and write us your song.
At this point in the process of conceptualizing a painting with a five minute wild-west ballad as subject matter I realized I was in good shape to do the deed, you see painting is easy, it's the rest of life which is difficult. Had this painting been my first rodeo in the arena of challenging myself as a professional painter I don't think I would have survived the first round. Some how I stayed in the saddle.
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