Update (07.20): I had to add for interest to the foreground. Between the caffeine and the sleeplessness, I hope it was worth it!
OK – This one nearly killed me…. I am not entirely sure I am finished with it. Sometimes it takes an overnight perspective to be certain – not that there is much left of the night. It is after 3am…
Music is a big part of my process. Many of my paintings have a soundtrack or a theme song. Music moves, pulls out the emotions I draw upon to paint some of my paintings.
A good example of a painting with theme music would be “Evanescence“. Allegri’s Miserere and Mozart’s Requiem made up the background. While I was painting “Evanescance”, I learned the historic church was being torn down. I had spent only a little time in this elegant pioneer structure, but the silence and peace of this place imprinted on me. The sadness and loss, the sublime beauty are all captured in Miserere. I played it over and over for the nearly two weeks during which I planned, drew and painted. Frankly, I was so emotionally drained from the work, it took me quite a while to really be able to go back to that ‘place’. It is also very unlikely I will ever part with the original painting.
Every so often, I find a song or piece of music that emotes in a manner that I cannot describe exactly. The word that comes to mind is haunting; the feeling slightly uncomfortable, but, at the same time irresistibly attractive. The music is often in a minor key.
A song that I can feel is going to affect my next painting is one I heard from a television show I have found quite a bit of great music from – The Cleaner. The song is called “Don’t Let me Down“, by Ampop. (I don’t have a good link but it is on iTunes) The song has that feeling – that essence of a deep dark place. In my imagination I can explore this darkness – a darkness with an underlying optimism and spark of light that permeates like an underground stream fills the cracks of a cave. The painting is of an old bathroom sink, the room coloured a warm rose by the curtain covering the window. The light is low. No one has used this room in years… I’ll post the WIP for you next week.
Occasionally it is the lyrics as much as the sound that grabs me. Sarah McLachlan wrote a song on her second album way back in the early 90’s called “Drawn to the Rhythm” (video link). There is a line in this song that I sing every time I hear it and it is seeping its way into my current work – and my life in general:
In the face of a blinding sun
Awake only to find
That Heaven is a stranger place
Than the one I’d left behind…
I would be very interested to know how music affects your life. We all have a soundtrack, for what we do, who we are… What’s yours?
I finally got my newsletter out earlier this week. I find that after I finish a painting I am inclined to clean up the administrative stuff that piles up before launching into another piece. I spent some time figuring out the YLMP system and then customized it. I plan to make the newsletter monthly – so the next one will be in mid-August. If you are interested in receiving the newsletter, fill in the field here and you will automatically receive it! The current newsletter, is here.