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Posts from the ‘music’ Category

This Little Light O’ Mine (+ video)

Drawing about Inspiration

The sketchbook drawing that sparked the flame- from a past 365 project

I have a little treat for you this week.  Last spring I shot some footage of myself painting, and decided to create a video of it.

It actually turned out to be several hours worth of footage on multiple projects- but you’ll be spared all of that.  Through the magic of iMovie, I was able to edit it down to a manageable size.

The result is a 5 minute video that I’ve titled, This Little Light O’ Mine.  It captures my painting process accompanied to music.

The music is a jazzy number by Yo-Yo Ma featuring the beautiful voice of Amelia Zirin-Brown.   I love how she starts out slow and sultry, how the music builds and picks up steam, and how she bellows it out at the end in a satisfying crescendo.

The painting began as a drawing in my sketchbook from a past 365 project in which I created a daily sketch based on a word or phrase.  That day’s word was Inspiration.  I liked the drawing and decided to do a painting based on it.

Inspiration acrylic painting

Inspired II- Acrylic- 14″x17″

I even wrote about it here.

As with many of my paintings, I felt that that there were some things I learned as I painted and wanted to expand upon.  This one was no exception.

So this is what I created and what my video captures:

Inspired III- Acrylic Painting

Inspired III- Acrylic- 18″x24″

But my video isn’t just about how I created that painting.

It’s a celebration.

It’s a celebration of being able to express myself in paint and letting my light shine.

There is more to the story.  As I was putting this all together, I remembered something my painting advisor from long ago, Kenneth Dingwall, said to me right before I graduated from art college.

He knew that I was about to marry and go off to live in London with my husband-to-be.  He knew that I would have bigger fish to fry as I began my life, post-college, and might have to put off painting as I pursued a career in illustration.

He said to me, “You have a passion for painting but may have to put it away for awhile.  I sense that you are the type of person that will carry that candle with you.  Just be sure to let it out someday.”

Well, Professor Dingwall, that day has come.  This video is dedicated to you for believing in me all those years ago.

Youtube Video- This Little Light O’ Mine

How about you?  What candle have you been carrying around that you’d like let shine again?

Have a wonderful, enlightening week!

Music Transforms My Art And Soul

Led Zepplin's Thank You

Drawing based on the song Thank You by Led Zepplin- from my 365 music project.

The other day I had a hankering for some REM

I discovered REM in high school.  They were my 1st concert, and there is something sacred about attending your first concert. (Being dragged by your parents to a Engelbert Humperdink concert doesn’t count!)

I spent a glorious morning painting my son’s room while listening to old REM songs (never quite got into their later music after the Monster album), reminiscing about high school, and my 1st few years of college.

REM will always remain close to my heart for being there for me in those formative years.  They will always transport me to another time and place.

365 drawing based on the song Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede

365 drawing based on the song Hooked On A Feeling by Blue Swede

Music can also transport me to a place I’ve never been.  Yesterday I went for a run and allowed my music to randomly select itself.  (Which meant there were a few Christmas songs in the mix * Mental note- take Jingle Cats off my playlist!)  Solea, a Miles Davis song from his Sketches of Spain album began to play.

In my mind it was a hot, sultry night in a spanish hacienda, and an old romance story was playing itself out.  I’m not sure of the characters or what was happening, but I could definitely see a Frida Kahlo sort of woman with dark hair piled high on her head and ruby red lips.

The trumpet was intoxicating and nuanced.  Miles Davis wielded his trumpet as an artist paints with a brush.  Amazing, what a great musician can do with an instrument!

It actually wasn’t the best song to run to,  but I’ll give it a pass since the music filled my mind and soul.

You Tube of Miles Davis playing Solea from the Sketches of Spain Album

This past June I began a new 365 project.  In attempt to keep my creativity flowing, even through the dry periods when I’m unable to paint (Like much of the summer while the kids were home!), I decided to attempt a drawing a day based on a song I’m listening to.

While I can’t say I’ve been consistent (aka: not daily like I had hoped), my sketchbook is slowly filling and I’ve found this exercise to be quite freeing.  It also gives me an excuse to listen to music.  Really listen.

What I’ve found is that I’ve been given a deeper appreciation of musicians as artists and my artwork has become a sort of tribute to their work.  I’m not sure if my art is what they imagined as they play (if they imagine art as they play?), but it sure has meaning to me.

Audioslave's Be Yourself

365 drawing based on the song Be Yourself by Audioslave

Every color, line, or dash I create pertains to something I’ve heard or felt as I listen.  The swoops, the circles, and the scribbles correspond to a repetitive measure, a soft refrain, or a loud, raging line to a song.

The best thing about this exercise is that I feel disinhibited as I draw.  No one needs to see them unless I choose to share.  (I do share every once in awhile, especially on my Instagram account.)

Cure's Boys Don't Cry

A 365 drawing based on the song, Boys Don’t Cry by The Cure

Music has become another vehicle to express myself, even though I am not a musician.  It continues to transport me and inspires my creativity.  It strikes a nerve within me (a reference to an old blogpost on music) and I am grateful to use the gift of sound to feed my art.

How does music feed your soul?  What song transports you to another place and time?

Have a Harmonius Week!

Special Report: Studio News

The Fanbrush

The Fanbrush, looking a little out of place among my other brushes, has a hidden agenda!

Psst..over here.. in with the paintbrushes… I’m Phantom Fanbrush, a spy planted to monitor The Artist in her studio.

My directive is to figure out how the The Artist gets her inspiration and develops her work.  Periodically, I’ve come out of hiding to send out a report on The Artist’s current enterprises.

This is one such report.

There has been an abundance of activity in the studio lately.  Let me clarify, young activity.   The Artist appears to be hosting some sort of children’s art class with several young prodigies.  I suspect that her daughter may be among them.

They are a bit rambunctious but highly creative, and the artist seems to take a lot of joy out of instructing them in various messy, yet imaginative projects.

Kids creating

As a matter of fact, I have been hosting a weekly kid’s art camp for my daughter and 6 of her friends throughout the month of June. It has been a loads of fun, but I’m looking forward to getting my studio back to myself again!

There appears to be a decrease in actual paintings gracing the walls of the studio.  This occurred sometime in the beginning of the month when The Artist brought in a stack of frames and, in a flurry of activity, framed many of her larger artwork and carried them out of the studio.

I can only surmise that she has been exhibiting them somewhere.  Let’s hope that these showings generate sales for the artist, as well!

Art At Dawn June Events

I do, in fact, have a number of exhibits showing a multiple of paintings this summer. Please stop by to see them if you are in the area.

But the studio is not entirely empty.  Indeed, The Artist has been working diligently on a new series of of paintings that, I believe, are based on a trip that she and her family took last summer.

These paintings reveal a raw and organic quality.  I hesitate to call the colors ‘earthy’ since they are a wide spectrum of blues, yellows, and reds.  But, there seems to be a softer undertone in the palette.  She also incorporates the same energy and movement that has been evident in past paintings.

Spirit of the Banyan III- Acrylic Painting

One of my latest acrylic paintings titled, Spirit of the Banyan III. It is based on my observance of the abundant Banyan Trees that grew on street corners and on the sides of buildings on a trip to China that my family and I took last summer.

For the past week, I have been observing The Artist at her studio table during odd hours of the day, pulling up a piece of music from her phone, and creating a drawing in her sketchbook.  She often draws or paints in a flurry of activity while the song plays, then stops soon after.

Could this be a new ritual that The Artist is developing?  And why does the music change so dramatically each day?

Drawing based on "Closer To Fine" by the Indigo Girls

Truth be told,  I have just begun another 365 project. This time it is a daily drawing based on song. This drawing was created as I listened to “Closer to fine” by the Indigo Girls.

I sense that The Artist isn’t able to create as much as she would like.  I’ll often observe her entering the studio and stand in the threshold as if she’s basking in the energy there- then reluctantly leave when she hears a young voice call out “Mom!” from downstairs.

But, The Artist seems happy and hopeful.  I can perceive how passionate she is about her work, and she seems dedicated to pursuing her artistic goals.  If I had to guess, I’d say The Artist is riding a wave of inspiration and creativity.

With that, I will end my report for the present time.  I hope to continue regular updates in the future.  This is Phantom Fanbrush, signing off.

If you had a phantom fan brush, toothbrush, or tollbooth (excuse my geeky, obscure reference!) shadowing you, what would it say about you in your workspace?

Have a fantastic week!

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