Mind Doodle!

Slow Movement

Painting to Anton Webern's "Langsamer Satz" (Slow Movement)

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!


9 responses to “Mind Doodle!

  1. Hey sweet blog brady! Help me start one of mine own? Pwease?

  2. without listening to the song (because my computer is soooo. slow). I say it looks pretty good. The colors look really great and I really like what you are doing in the back round behind the trees the purples, light and dark blues, I would like to see more of that come forward. It has a really great rhythm with the wavy branches but the one straight black one in the center breaks that for me because it contrasts so much. its just so straight and thick. I wouldn’t mind seeing that thinned down. More to come I hope? and I’m sure you are still working on this. Good Luck my friend.

    • I hadn’t really seen how straight that middle tree really is, thanks for pointing it out – I can’t remember if I saved the .psd file, but I may just have to paint over it.

      There is definitely more to come, maybe another music painting this weekend, but something less abstract. Who knows?!


  3. I am so impressed because I always wanted to have some artistic talent but of course have none. I was going to go to a workshop on blogging Tuesday evening but Pastor and Diane ended up staying both nights before they moved.

    • Hey Grandma Mary, you could start building that artistic talent, and then write about it in a blog! A blogging workshop would have been really helpful, bummer you couldn’t make it.

      If you want any tips with starting a blog let me know and I’ll see if I can offer any good advice. I’m just trying to figure it out as I go, for whatever that is worth.

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  4. Would love to do the same with photography as a medium! thanks for the idea. I’ll definitely try it!

    great work!


  5. ps. i forgot to comment on the painting. =)

    Im not a music expert but I think music connects to the art you just did. I listened to the music while looking at the painting and while doing so and staring at the photo, I suddenly saw the flowy lines as violin strokes and how the musician caresses its instrument.


    • Hey there Karen
      I think photography would be an interesting medium to try this in – it’s not really my thing, but I’d definitely be interested to see your results!

      I like painting to music because it is a dynamic process that changes with the music. The shapes, colors and composition evolve out of the previous marks on the canvas. With photography you have one instant to capture that entire movement (unless you are shooting several shots – a series might be cool!), which is quite the feat to accomplish – one that I would have trouble wrapping my head around I think. So please do! I’d love to see what you come up with.

      Thanks for the comments again!

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