Well, here it is. My first blog post. I figured I’d start out with a bit of recent artwork and talk about the process and inspiration:
I was asked to paint an image to some music, specifically Anton Webern’s “Langsamer Satz” (You can listen to it here). I accepted, seeing as how I love painting, and I love music – seemed like an easy task considering. From the beginning I was planning on painting this image digitally, using my pen tablet, because I don’t happen to have studio space, let alone canvas to paint traditionally. Anyways, I sat down, listened to the movement a few times thinking some sort of image would present itself to me, and of course it didn’t.
Round #2: Without any clear direction I went with the tried and true method of opening a blank canvas in Photoshop and playing around with different brushes and colors, making shapes that feel like the dynamics of the music and waiting for something to emerge out of the chaos. Give it enough time and it usually works, and this time around it did. I started seeing trees in the long, black, vertical strokes on my canvas. The song is rather slow and somber, so I went in the direction of a foggy fall forest. The piece builds in sweeping intensity in a few sections, which is how the intense yellow “leaves” made it in to the painting. A lot of the other compositional choices I made are lost to me now – they were made in the moment as I reacted to the marks on the painting, and it’s hard to go back to recall them. In the future I want to take some in process shots to share, so there are some clear steps to follow along with. Maybe even a video if there is demand for it (but first, recommendations for screen capture programs – especially free ones?)
So if you took the time to read all that, what do you think about the image? Does it give a good representation of the song? Do you feel any correlation between the two?
Also, take a moment and think about how you would translate music into visual form. Do certain instruments call to mind certain colors or types of brush stroke? Does a certain genre of music feel more paintable than another? Maybe painting isn’t even the medium you would choose – drawing? sculpture? What do you think?
Until next time, thanks for reading!