June 2011 Issue
Tuned Into Art
A Holmes County painter takes his inspiration from music and musicians.
Leaning against a cinder-block wall in Ruston Baker’s basement, and covered with a torn gray plastic sheet, is a door emblazoned with the name of one of rock’s iconic groups, The Doors. But that moniker isn’t the first thing that grabs your attention.
Instead, It’s the eyes that have you: Above the red block lettering is the image of a shirtless Jim Morrison emitting a penetrating stare that makes his sepia-toned irises pop from their wooden canvas.
Indeed, it’s that gaze that inspired the Millersburg artist to paint Morrison’s image on the door a friend salvaged for him to use as a canvas.
“I’m a big music history man,” Baker says, “so I’m flipping through [a music-history book] and there’s Elvis and Eric Clapton and bam! Jim Morrison staring at me. I saw that photograph and knew.”
The Doors door is just one example of the way Baker marries his artistic abilities and his passion for music. His northeast Ohio farmhouse is a sketchbook chock-full of images of musical geniuses. To read more, click here to subscribe