Normal History Vol. 454: The Art Of David Lester

Every Saturday, we’ll be posting a new illustration by David Lester. The Mecca Normal guitarist is visually documenting people, places and events from his band’s 33-year run, with text by vocalist Jean Smith.

Many of the songs on Jarred Up are rooted in places. I’m not sure if this was an overarching theme at the time or whether this is something I’m noticing all these years later, looking back.

As with “Broken Flowers,” there’s a lot of nuanced landscape rolling by in cinematic vignettes on the album as a whole. Maybe because we were on tour a lot in those days and lyric writing often “took place” on the road, which is also a very good time to mull over bigger pictures.

Being the daughter of painters—one of them a very strong landscape painter with a solid bent for verbal communication—gives me a unique perspective when it comes to describing what I see around me. I recently completed a series of snow-covered mountain paintings that suddenly turned into sequential art when I introduced another series directly into the landscape—paintings of women in red hats (after Vermeer) slipping around out on a frozen lake. This is my idea of fun—also intended for seasonal gifting strategies, truth be known!

“Broken Flowers” from Jarred Up (K, 1993) (download):