Thanks to photographer Bob Gersztyn for writing a great article and interview in the August 10th edition of Blueswax, a weekly email blues newsletter published by Blues Review Magazine. Bob Gersztyn is a photographer and writer in Salem, Oregon. To read Bob’s interview with Diane click here. Visit his blog at Jesus Rocks The World.
The Blues Foundation in Memphis presents this annual awards ceremony (now renamed the Blues Music Awards). For the 2005 awards show, the Foundation honored Pinetop Perkins with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and my painting of Pinetop was featured on the poster. Jay Sieleman, executive director of the Blues Foundation, had this to say about how the poster came together: “We were familiar with and loved the work of Portland artist Diane Russell, who always sent us postcards featuring her latest blues paintings. I inquired whether she would be interested in creating a piece featuring Pinetop for incorporation into the poster. Talk about serendipity: She had recently finished a painting of Pinetop that no one had seen!” The Handy Award statue needed to be added, so I painted it on a separate canvas and had the two images morphed together in Photoshop to create the final poster. I attended the Awards Ceremony and had a showing of my portraits at the adjacent Marriott Hotel. Click here to find out more about the Blues Foundation. Pinetop Perkins passed away in 2011 at the age of 97. To read more about this legendary musician, visit his website at www.pinetopperkins.com.