Art As A Journey.
My art has been taking me on many journeys over the past two years. I have gone from drawing portraits in the 1990s, to painting musical abstracts and collages to creating roomboxes/dioramas and working in a lot more mixed media. I now even have shop on Etsy called Curious Journey.
The Ghost of Brockleton Hall.
A ruined 18th century mansion sits hidden amongst a tangle of ivy and weeds. Once a beautiful home to the living, the mansion has long been abandoned and forgotten. Inside one of the rooms is a lonely ghost, some playing cards lay scattered at its feet forlornly. It has nobody to play with and nobody visits it except a mangy old crow. There is an old toy horse that may have once belonged to the little boy in the portrait. This is The Ghost of Brockleton Hall. It has lost its head and has been looking for it for a long time. It can’t even remember how it lost its head or who it was when it was alive all those centuries ago. As well as its head it has lost part of its right arm and all its clothes!
The Sea Ghost.
Deep in the Ocean a shimmering mysterious creature floats along the sea bed. It seems to be collecting pearls into a pile using its tentacles. What this elusive creature is nobody knows, for it vanishes whenever any diver comes near it. And so it has become known as The Sea Ghost…
Below are some of my paintings inspired by pieces of classical music. Each work is a Journey into sound, tone colours; experiencing the music and a personal interpretation.
I begin by listening to the music, following it and seeing what comes through. I paint in water colours and acrylics- colours and shapes.
Some of this work is collage, some of it is painted straight onto canvas, white card or paper. For the collaging technique, I paint colours onto paper. Once the paper is dry, I collage some of the works- ripping the paper into shapes and gluing them onto card in layers. I like this effect as it brings some depth and life to the art work. I am trying to capture movement in colours and tones and collaging helps evoke what I experience and “see.” I am going to be developing this further by creating some 3D musical art, so watch this space!
The Planets, set of miniatures on canvas. Inspired by Gustav Holst’s music.
Sergei Rachmaninov, the 18th Variation, Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini.
(Acrylics on canvas board)
Ludovico Einaudi, The Waves.
( Acrylics on canvas)
Ludwig van Beethoven. The Tempest Piano Sonata.
Triptych minatures ( 3″ x 3″) on canvas, acrylics.
This set of paintings were done listening to Keiko Omura play The Tempest on a 1795 fortepiano ( you will see a post of her you tube recording on my blog page). The fortepiano has a very different sound to that of a modern piano; here the tone colours are more vibrant and there is greater contrast between the registers. The deep resonance of the bass notes presented themselves to me as a rich dark brown. The high register notes, came as white hot fire; rolling onto the canvas in their cry to be heard. The violet colour comes as searching for peace, composure; showing restraint, and yet the tremolos are ever present in the bass notes, coming through in black. Finally, the storm arrives- tumbling out in woody brown tones, met in the musical dance with passionate red and white hot fire of the high right hand notes.
The Largo is where it all begins…
1. Largo-Allegro in D minor.
The night is silent, one might say serene, but then-
thoughts spill out into sound;
notes jostling for space.
what do I seek?
2. Adagio in B flat major.
The wind sighs into the night sky-
Vienna sleeps, except for the pianoforte,
and fingers play on,
reaching for resolution-
Sturm oder Stille?
3. Allegretto in D minor.
Tones roar into the air-
sturm und drang, sorrow and sweetness;
ebbing and flowing,
pounding out powerful epiphanies-
they are one.
Claude Debussy- La Mer.
Debussy described this work as “symphonic sketches”. Unlike the works of most other composers before him who composed music on the theme of the Sea, there are no literary or human elements being evoked in this music- it is the sounds of Nature in all its raw glory. We hear the waves, the wind, droplets of spray, and feel the sensations of the movements of the Sea and the Wind. Debussy was also influenced by paintings of seascapes; he didn’t visit the Sea very much, although he had happy memories of spending time by the Sea in his childhood.
Through this music we get a glimpse into the world of the Sea. How does it experience itself? Human concepts of childhood, adulthood, enemies and friends- do not apply. The Sea to us is both playful like children, yet with the power to kill. There is life force in the Sea- spend long enough watching it and feeling its presence and this will be revealed….
Play of the Waves.
Leaping, turning, merging-
many become One;
breaking away, splashing,
( Water colours on card-collage)
Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea.
Sky and Sea-
showers and spray,
storms and stillness-
roaring and whispering,
( Watercolour painting on white card)
Ludwig van Beethoven. String Quartet in A minor, op 132. Allegro appassionato-Presto.
Upon listening to the Allegro appassionato I attempted to Journey into the music, to experience it in colour. The mind cannot easily grasp the meaning of op 132. The below collage painting is an impression of what I experienced. The reds and deep blues were more vibrant than is what in my paintbox; the turquoises and light blues shimmered. They were moving, alive.
Red depicts the passion of Beethoven’s creation, and his strength to carry on after a long stomach illness from which he thought he would not recover.
Dark blue is the cosmos meeting Beethoven in music.
Light blue is expansion and communication.
Turquoise is spiritual love reaching out into the world.
Yellow is the colour of the solar plexus chakra -Beethoven sought healing of these areas. It awakens optimism, perception and wisdom. The colour of the Sun, it radiates joy.