Bernie Taupin is headed to Tampa for an exhibit of his work that opens Saturday at the Michael Murphy Gallery and runs through November 13.
As noted earlier by this Web site, the songwriter will be at the gallery on 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 12 and 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 13.
He says he’s done drawings since he was a child but didn’t seriously take brush to canvas until the ’90s. “I needed a place where I could open up and work on a large scale and I finally found it here near Santa Barbara,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “The setting is peaceful and inspiring.”
On his Round-Up Valley Ranch in Santa Ynez, the Briton raises horses and paints.
“I only write music when there’s an album to record, which is about every two years now,” he says. “I paint more frequently. When the spirits moves me, I can paint for weeks and at full speed on several different works.”
He sees painting as an extension of his writing, a lyrical process that is satisfying. It’s also a solo process that Taupin enjoys. He finds writing music more taxing on the brain because there is usually a deadline for getting a song ready to record.
“There’s a different kind of satisfaction from painting,” he says.
He feels a piece is “really a visual story as opposed to music, which is a sonic story.”
“The canvas is an extension of what I do when I write,” he adds. “I use colors and textures to represent the emotion.”
He has exhibited his works in the past but this current tour is the result of a new agent determined to give Taupin’s work more exposure. He’s says he is enjoying going on the road with his “children” (the paintings).
“I feel like I have a good body of work now and I am getting good reactions,” he comments. He also enjoys seeing his works displayed and professionally lit.
“Selling them is interesting because when you sell a song, it’s still around and you can hear it,” he says. “But when you sell a painting, it’s gone. But if I didn’t part with them, they’d be stored in a warehouse so I’m basically seeing to it that they end up in good homes.”
The Michael Murphy Gallery is at 20701 S. MacDill Ave. in Tampa, and the phone number there is 813-902-1414.