Saturday, May 5, 2012

Music as Inspiration

Music has always been a huge part of my life. I've been playing one instrument or another since I was five. My entire family is musical. I have a ridiculously large collection of recorded music in any genre you can think of. When my son was young he decided he wanted to learn to play guitar, and has since gone from pop to rock to classical and lately, he's playing jazz. He started high school last year, and is now attending a school for the arts, in the specialty music program. I am, to say the least, a very proud mother.... but I digress...

My first musician. Acrylic on canvas.
Over the years I've done many music inspired pieces. I regularly use sheet music as collage elements and images of instruments as subject matter. Earlier this year I had decided to see if musicians could be a workable subject for me... in particular jazz musicians. I put on one of my favorite recordings and started painting.

While I think the painting works as a painting, and I'm satisfied with it in that regard, it really didn't convey the feeling I was going after. Perhaps I had chosen the wrong music. This just doesn't have the energy. I set it aside, since I was busy and preparing for my trip to Artfest. After my trip my head was in a completely different place. I did a few other things, but after a performance at my son's school, I knew I had to go back to the musicians.

The horn player silhouette from my first piece was originally from a photo: I had the head, hands and horn, and the rest I drew in to get the composition I thought would work. The computer is a wonderful tool... having this image digitized I was able to resize and reuse it. I thought I'd try something similar, but use some more energetic music and a technique similar to what I was doing with Jesse Reno. I got out a couple small postcard sized pieces of watercolour, and here are the results.

I figured since they were actual postcards I'd use them as such.
Off in the mail they went.

I think these two are much more what I was going for. So now I have a direction. I can hardly wait.... I've got five large canvasses just screaming at me. Time to paint!!!


  1. oh my goodness I love these! You're amazing

  2. Hi - I was in Jesse Reno's two-day class at Artfest as well. The techniques we learned and practiced are showing up in my current work, too. I like how you are really bringing your own style to it. I'm interested to see more!

  3. Very exciting to see this progression! Yes, the energy is very evident in the newer pieces (even though I liked the older one a lot). Also, while I can see the influences from what you learned in your classes, your work looks completely original and unique. Wonderful!
    : ) lulu

  4. I'm thrilled to be the recipient of the last postcard above. Now I just have to find a suitable frame.