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Tuesday, September 4

Paste Magazine: Rennie Sparks Shares Her Paintings

Paste Magazine asks 24 musicians about their love of painting and to share some of their work. Rennie Sparks of The Handsome Family does an interesting little Q&A (below) about her love of dog food cans and the difference between painting & writing music. See profiles of more musicians, including Mindy Smith, Robyn Hitchcock, Joseph Arthur, Ani DiFranco, and more by reading the article in Paste. 

Rennie Sparks of Handsome Family
Rennie Sparks sings and plays banjo and bass in Handsome Family, alongside her husband Brett. The Chicago band has released nine albums since 1994, including Uncut magazine's Country Album of the Year, Through the Trees in 1998.

When did you first start painting?
About five years ago, long after I started playing music.

Are you inspired by a particular painter or artistic movement?
I was actually inspired to start painting by dog food. I used to wander around gas station mini-marts while on tour looking for something to cheer me up. I noticed that whenever I looked at dog food cans, that inevitably have very eager looking dogs depicted on them, I would feel much happier. I started collecting dog food cans then, and I now have a collection of them from all over the world. One day at home I decided to try to paint a really happy dog face. After that I couldn't stop trying to paint animal utopias.

How does painting differ from music as a creative outlet for you?
My paintings are always insanely joyful, but my music is usually somber and mournful. I can paint from an animal's point of view, but can only play music from a human pov.

Where can we see your work in person?
Every painting I've done has been sold. I have a few portraits of my own dead pets hanging at my home in Albuquerque. You can see tons of sold work on my website, handsomefamily.com then follow link to paintings.

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