Live music makes people do all sorts of things. Some folks are compelled to dance, some can’t resist singing along and some feel the need to shout “‘Free Bird’!”
For Neal Barbosa, live music puts him in the mood to paint, and he does it onstage while bands perform at venues throughout the Bay Area and beyond, a practice known as live painting.
Originally from Orange County, Barbosa was already a talented young artist when he moved to the North Bay at age 15 to live with his “hippie uncle.”
“He introduced me to all kinds of music that was going on around here,” Barbosa says. “I really wanted to be involved in that, but I didn’t play an instrument at the time, so I asked myself, ‘What do I do?’ And I came up with the idea of live painting.”
Barbosa isn’t the first to paint live onstage; artists like Denny Dent have been painting along to live music since the 1960s, though Barbosa didn’t know about Dent when he started....