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Pearl News

25 Mar

Michael Cartellone: Painter

Michael Cartellone is widely know for drumming with a vast array of artists such as Damn Yankees, John Fogerty, Peter Frampton, Freddie Mercury, Cher and since 1998, Lynyrd Skynyrd. However his painting has been gaining him a lot of attention since the release of a body of work called the "Road Series", snapshots of life on the road with Lynyrd Skynyrd. The paintings of this series have pop art elements with photo realism. Painting since the age of four and drumming since the age of nine; his perseverance has paid off in both avenues.

When asked by Michael Goldstein of RockPoP Gallery to contribute a piece to their Cover Stories, he focused on one of the Road Series Paintings – “Blue”.

"Blue is easily the most personal painting of the five, as it illustrates my working perspective (which no one else shares) of Life On The Road. Only I see that view, day in and day out while on tour. So, I thought it would be interesting to share it with others. Any drummer will tell you, when sitting at their kit they feel a comfort zone. It’s one constant for us, in an ever changing, city to city, venue to venue environment. I feel this comfort when I look at Blue.

Blue also gives away some of the “behind the scenes” attributes of the Road Series Paintings: the ever-present half an orange (for sticky hands to hold drumsticks), the bottle of Gatorade, the tape on the pedal board for a little bit of traction and last, but not least, the homage to all my drum endorsement companies.

I will say that of all five paintings, the hardest thing and most time consuming to paint was the cymbal in Blue. I spent a month alone on that cymbal. Upon close inspection, you’ll notice the ridges changing color throughout. This effect required a lot of attention and many, many coats of paint to achieve the final result. I knew I would be happy with that cymbal once finished, but I honestly was surprised how involved it was to paint. I love this painting and it’s my favorite of the five."

You can see more of Michael's work at and more on his new Reference Series kit here.