Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Art and Music: An Online Show - Part One

This post, although delayed by computer problems, is in response to my call for images of works about music or musicians or inspired by music. As you may recall, the idea for this show came about after I had posted images of my Blues for Etta. Somehow I thought that images would flood in and I would be hard pressed to cope with the emails, but, in actuality, only 24 people sent me images. Rather than curate a show from this small but diverse representation of the theme, I am just posting them all and also including another one of my own. I'm also giving the full text each person submitted because I think that reading about the connection to music gives a broader context for the image. I hope you enjoy looking at the images and reflecting about the important role music plays in making art. (AS ALWAYS, CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.)

Setting the mood  - image from the internet

Ingrid Ellison, Camden Maine

September Sky, 2011, oil/metal leaf on birch panel, 24" x 24"

Ingrid says:
I like the idea of this call very much. I am always listening to music in my studio while I paint and work. I tend to listen to a song or selected few over and over until I complete a painting. Even if I put a painting aside for a while I feel the need to put on the 'original soundtrack" in order to see a piece to completion- the music brings me back to a certain state of mind. It is a good thing I do not have to share my space- the repetition could drive someone else nuts!

This particular piece I am submitting was done this summer while collaborating with a poet - he wrote I painted, we came up with two works. My piece starting out tentatively pale in palette, and then as the colors intensified on my piece I came to listen to this song, "Salala" sung by Angelique Kidjo and Peter Gabriel. It is so joyous and alive . I hope that is what comes across in looking at the piece.

Cherie Mittenthal, Provincetown, Mass.

Crow Series, 2011, encaustic on panel, 20" x 16"

Cherie says:
This work is about the Crow image. I have been surrounded by birds this winter on the beach and I love it, I have been photographing them, drawing them and now painting them. Most have been pigeons, but when a crow in on the beach it feels different. I’m trying to create a mood or a feeling that the crows evoke in me.

I listen to a lot of Latin music, R & B. I feel like the energy of the music and the feeling of the Crow work well together.

Cheryl McClure, Overton, Texas

They Paved Paradise 1, 12" x 12" x 2", encaustic and collage on wood, 2009

Cheryl says:
Though I do paint with music going all the time in
the studio, this painting was painted when I had only been using
encaustic for about 3-4 years. There was a theme to the show... Global
Swarming coming up at a newly renovated building in Fair Park,
Dallas. As I have stated a gazillion times, I HATE themes and I was
scratching my head ... 'what was I going to do for this show' Dallas
Wax was sponsoring???

I was driving down the road with music blasting when Joni Mitchell's
song "Big Yellow Taxi" came,, that was my subject to
paint with for the show. You know the one with the lyrics, "put away
the DDT, give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the
bees, please!....and 'they paved paradise and put up a parking lot".

SO... I painted three new paintings titled, "They Paved Paradise"...

Helen DeRamus, Marietta, Georgia

No Strings Attached, 2011, 24" x 18", encaustic/silk photograph on cradled birch panel

Helen says:
My paintings are musically influenced no doubt because of my musical background and musician family. When I'm working there is always a musical background to accompany my painting.

Diane Reardon, Oak Harbor, Washington

Monks in Choir, 2002, 27"H x 32.5"W, fused, quilted, reverse appliqued
and machine embroidered hand-dyed cotton and recycled fabrics
with beads

Diane says:
Monks in Choir is part of my Monkish Ways series . All pieces were accompanied by lots of Gregorian chant as I worked. The power of art came through when in 2003 I ended up singing for 4 years in a Gregorian chant choir myself, ending up our tour in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. The power of art indeed!

The theme of this series is solitude while in community, using the pointed arch shape of a medieval church door. Abstract images reflect the rituals that connect daily life to the sacred, those used by monks and by others.

Pamela DeJong, Ashland, Mass.
no website

Love is Blue, 2012, oil and encaustic on birch, 10" x 22"
Pamela says:
This piece is about the song "Love is Blue". I was Prom Chairman and chose it as our theme. It was a top forty hit at the time. Recently, the song came to mind, and I couldn't get the melody out of my head, so I decided to paint it. The flower shape represents the gardenia I wore on my wrist. Unfortunately, I had a fever of 101 degrees and had to go home early that night. I had strep throat and a week or so later had my tonsils out! I had a wonderful time at the prom while it lasted. I think I was actually hallucinating from the fever.

Lynda Ray, Richmond, Virginia

Half Island, 2012, encaustic on panel, 12" x 9"
Lynda says:
Similar to experiencing music with different instruments playing simultaneously, the arrangement of color, light, temperature and pattern embrace time and process.

David A. Clark, Palm Springs, California

Break The Wall, 2012, encaustic monoprint on Rives BFK, 22" x 16"

David says:
Music plays a huge part in my studio practice. I need to run an enormous fan while printing, so I can usually be found with headphones on listening to music and drowning out the drone of the fan. I listen to french pop and hip hop music mostly. MC Solaar, Isabelle Boulay, Piaf, Alain Souchon, Yannick Noah and Francis Cabrel are my go-to friends in the studio. But the piece I'm sending you was influenced more by music through the words of a musician. 

I am a huge fan of Patti Smith and a huge fan of her writing and music. The work attached is directly drawn from my response to "Just Kids" Patti Smith's soulful book on the years she shared with Robert Mapplethorpe. The music in Patti's words inspired me, and her words sang. They broke open a part of my history that was the planted seed from which everything else grew. So, this image belongs to her, and to the sound of rock and roll and rain as it hits my bare feet running down Fifth Avenue towards Washington Square Park.

Zoe Ani, San Francisco, California

Sorrow Road, 2009, encaustic on wood, 14" x 11"

Zoe says:
Sorrow road is a song by Jan Bell. The track comes from her Album, No Country, put out by Little Red Hen Records in 2003. I had the pleasure of working with Jan bell as a bartender at Superfine in Brooklyn, New York. This gave me the opportunity to see her sing live at work and in many different music venues throughout New York. I got to know her voice very well. When I moved to San Francisco in 2008 I missed Brooklyn something fierce. This track was on repeat for many hours in the studio as I painted away. The painting, Sorrow Road, is a direct manifestation of that longing for home and the heartbreak of leaving so tangible in the song of the same name. It got me through and I can hear the song every time I gaze at this painting.

Philip Gerstein, Cambridge, Mass.

Not In A Silent Way, 2010, mixed media on paper, 28" x 22"
Philip says:
It was hard to choose one piece for this show, as I alsmost never paint without music, and so many paintings of mine even have music-related titles. In fact I just finished a 5' painting titled after a Mingus tune... .
This painting's title is after a Miles Davis' album "In a Silent Way". I often thought about the irony of using "silence" in naming a music tune, so reversed the title of my painting to "Not in a silent way" -- as this is a painting that declares itself loudly. The intervals and juxtapositions in this work can be compared to transitions in a free jazz tune.

Leslie Sobel, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Watershed monotype #4, 2012, encaustic and oilbar on Kozo, 50" x 25"
Leslie says:
I love your theme - it's one that's often on my mind. I've been doing a series of encaustic monotypes which are partly about rivers and watersheds but are also based in jazz improvisation. I listen to my local jazz station all day in the studio and I started making monotypes in particular in response to what I've been hearing. 5 of this series including this one are being installed in a solo show at the University of Michigan's new Art & the Environment Gallery at the School of Natural Resources in a couple weeks. More on the show:

Sue Katz, Amherst, Mass.

You Bring Thought, I'll Bring Emotion, 2011, encaustic on wood, metal spring and copper
7" x 6" x 6"

Sue says:
Interesting idea - at first I thought no, I don't have anything for this, but then I realized tht I do! So here is the scoop. I have been a groupie of Heather Maloney for a couple of years - she is a young singer song writer living in Turners Falls. I first heard her at the Yellow Sofa in Noho and then in Turners Falls, Montague and then invited her to play at my forum at Gallery A3 Nov 2010 and talk about her creative process.

I play her two CDs frequently when I'm working in my studio. I like her voice, her writing, her style in general. I really like the song after which I named one of my art pieces in my "Synapse Series" – "you Bring Thought, I'll Bring Emotion." It's just the kind of polar opposites, the sort of ying yang way of thinking that preoccupies most of my thinking about art and life and whatever else pops into my brain. I explore possibilities through littles mental dialogs that I have with myself!

Milisa (Misa) Galazzi, Providence, RI

Connected, 2011, encaustic and oil on birch, 20" x 20"

Misa says:
I listen to many different stations on my Pandora Radio List depending on my mood. While I was working on my Ghost Lace Series last winter, I listened to a lot of Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. I created this piece called, "Connected" as I listened repeatedly to Johny Cash singing the 1963 hit, "Ring of Fire." This song was co-written by June Carter Cash and Merle Kilgore while June and Johnny were falling in love. While June was writing this song, Johny was struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. "Ring of Fire" refers to falling in love and the trans-formative power of love. 

This painting is about the protection one person can offer another when both are bonded by love as well as referring to the transformation of single entities into one whole "connected" by love. Literally, I see June as the larger ring of strength and Johnny as the smaller, weaker ring. Together, these rings create a strong connection or bond which is ultimately greater than the individual parts. (I know this all sounds so very saccharin y-sweet and I hope that my writing here does not ruin the painting for you!)

NOTE: This post is now at about the halfway point. I'm going to make this Part One in the interest of my beauty sleep and to give this miserable Blogger interface a chance to think better about its mistreatment of me.


ingrid said...

thank you Nancy!- (I linked to your blogpost)

Anonymous said...

What an inspirational concept and grouping of work. I do hope Blogger was more kind to you for part 2. I am learning from reading about others' interpretations of music. Thanks!

Sue said...

fantastic collection of artwork about the topic music. Very inspiring - thank you! I'm going to listen to more rapsodies in my studio...

Helen Dannelly said...

Very much liked your post, Nancy. (Never saw the call for work, though - just fyi. Maybe others didn't either which could be why you didn't get more work submitted...)

Helen Dannelly said...

Very much liked your blog, Nancy. Thank you! (Never saw the call for work, though. Maybe others didn't either, which could be why you didn't receive more submissions....)