For The Greater Good...

7:30 AM

Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
Watercolor and Ink
Stillman & Birn Beta Bound Sketchbook
11 x 8.5 inches
Back in May, I went off for an evening of music and entertainment with some friends and to support a very worthy cause. We went to see Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band in downtown Tampa. They were playing to raise money for retired Marine Sergeant Mike Nicholson. Mike lost 3 limbs back in July 2011 and the proceeds of the concert and auction were going towards building him a specially equipped home.

The evening was fairly cool (for Florida). There was a nice breeze and despite sitting right next to the river, the bugs (mosquitos) were not bad. The crowd was a mix of young and old with many, many military personnel, retired and enlisted, present in support of the cause.

It is not often that you see a Hollywood star step up to the plate as Gary Sinise has done. He has taken his role as Lt. Dan from the Forrest Gump movie and uses it as a way to help those who have given their all to keep the United States free.

The band travels around the world raising funds and awareness of the needs of the wounded vets through the Gary Sinise Foundation. I encourage you to take a look and consider helping out.

I would love to tell you that the image above was painted on location, but I would have to lie to do that and I cannot tell a lie...
This was what was accomplished on location. It was fun attempting to get down the elements that spoke most to our location. The stage, the minarets of the University of Tampa and the palm trees swaying in the breeze.

Because it took f...o...r...e...v...e...r at the food trucks (not their fault—they were slammed as there were only two), it was nearly dark by the time I finished the sketch. Rather than attempt to paint in the dark, I  opted to wait until I was home.

When I finally got around to looking at my photos, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. They  didn't come close to show the light, the colors, the emotions swirling around in the air that evening.

Taking considerable creative license with the photo, I painted the colors I saw that night rather than worry about reality. Reality is overrated anyway. You'll note I moved the minarets and made them larger. I removed a lot of folks in the foreground and I deleted the guys running the lights and camera on top of the platform on the left. And probably most noticeable were the colors I added that do not show in the image.

I would like to call out a special thanks to Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band as well as to our Armed Forces for all that you do.

Each day. Every day.

For the greater good.

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