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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tea With Tweed Meyer

Author's note: All text in italics are Tweed Meyer's own words.

My friend Tweed Meyer on the back deck of The Aerie.

Several years ago I met local artist Tweed Meyer, down at the Swiss, in Tacoma. It was a packed house with great energy and Tweed was a major part of the night's performance for me. Off in the corner by the stage she set up her easel. Conducting the air with pencils, charcoal, chalk, brushes and fingers, she caught the essence of both music and the bands' performance on paper. All the while she danced and swayed with her swirls and strokes, her smile bemused and blissful.

Recently I had a chance to ask Tweed how the Muse led her to paint music, to document the energy of performance. True to her name, she began to weave a story of texture and depth.

My dad had a record store on K. Street and an album of Elvis, signed on his visit. Nat King Cole to Satchmo, my parents loved music and dancing. Music has always been an important part of my life. As Satchmo said, Life is what we play.

Right: Tweed's rendition of a Pearl Django performance.

Tweed's story-telling takes on even more colour as she moves beyond her graduation, in her thirties, from N.W.C.A. to studying in San Miguel de Allende. A flamenco guitarist set upon the backdrop of, "...vaulted French-domed rooms, tucked in amongst Diego Rivera's murals and a garden of fat doves," gave Tweed desire, whispered by her muse.

Back in Ollala, as a single mother of three, the seed was planted.

Bluegrass was always around in the very nature of its valley floor. I showed up to it, in our annual Bluegrass Festival.

During this time, the Ollala Community Centre was worked on and became useful again as a venue.

I wanted to capture, to document, our gathering in celebration and joy. Her eyes sparkle blue with the memories of an idea's tender shoots rising from home soil.

Left: Music at Tweed's house in Ollala.

Last but not least, I put up art at Starbucks, downtown Tacoma and sketched the scene. When I was done, I went up to the Swiss, where Bob suggested I get up on stage (with a pitcher of beer) and sketch. So came the flower and the fruit.

Tweed Meyer is loved by area musicians because she 'gets' us. We are honoured when we recognise, not so much our physical selves, but the energy of our intent behind the performance...dancing in living colour across the page/stage. Even ghosts living in the Swiss have been known to come out and play within a scene!

Right: Malibu Manouche at this year's Beyond the Borders Music Festival.

When I asked Tweed what was important to the harvest, she replied without hesitation in a stream of consciousness.

Showing up...listen...tell the truth...don't care about the present to process...right to be creative...document...trusting becomes up.


Gigi said...

Wow, what an incredible talent, that Tweed Meyer! Thanks so much for sharing your tea party and Tweed's paintings. Ah, to follow one's bliss - a lesson to be learned in that!

Lorraine Hart said...

Hi Gigi! Did you see that it's Tom "Bebop" Hume on bass in that last pic? His son (our drummer T3) has bought the painting!

I think you will also really appreciate the tree she is painting out at Quinault (sp?) so I've got one of her postcards waiting for you.

JosephMcG said...

She one very profound human being and a very fine painter... I am delighted she "gets it..."

Barnabas said...

I am very respectfull of your description of my friend of many decades tweed meyer

you have shared her well as a word smith

ironic that was written on my birthday - many of which tweed shared with me

one year she made my favorite - pecan pie - there were soooo many pecans in it you almost had to cut it with a chain saw

but there was even more love in it
that can never be severed

nice verbage babe!