Painting to Music

Do you listen to music when you’re creating?

I do and I want to share with you two of my favorite websites that are always playing my music.

If I don’t have specific music in mind, but just a rough idea of “electronic mood music with no lyrics” or  “introspective” or “hypnotic ocean waves” or “drinking at a dive bar” 😉 , then I select the website

All the music is “made by an expert team of music critics, DJs, musicians, and musicologists” and includes over 2 thousand playlists.

Painting a series of musical events from the Rebekah in Bear River.

When I am concentrating on my subject; especially in the beginning of the work, I prefer instrumental music because I find lyrics too distracting. There is a certain amount of tension about getting to a place where there is only color and texture and a creative flow. Sometimes, the music can help me get to that place faster.

Starting with a feeling of colour.
Starting with a feeling of colour.
I work with fluid acrylics in plastic, lidded containers in muffin tins. And LOTS of medium. This is a tulip series that I finished and delivered this week to Catfish Moon in Annapolis Royal.

If I have a specific band in mind, then I go to  Like Songza, they bundle playlists and match your chosen musician with similar music.

The work of Marconi Union is ethereal and moody and it really helps me to get in the ‘zone’. If there is a musician reading this perhaps you have the vocabulary or understanding to tell me why this is. All I know is that their music helps me enter a creative space where nothing exists but my close observation of the subject and the moving of the paint on the canvas or paper.

My daughter Emily introduced me to this group several years ago. The kids are good for that. 😉

Drawing into wet watercolour paper with charcoal and watercolour crayons.

Sometimes even music is too distracting. Thats when I open the window and listen to the birds or the frogs/peepers.

I started this large painting outside last summer and am working on it this week.

Is There Only One Painting on the Canvas?

Some paintings flow off the palette and out of the brushes and are finished in one or two intensive sittings. But others………well let’s just say that some paintings are a struggle.
They drag on, they shift, they change colours, they change themes and they resist.

I have been working on this oil painting of red tulips off and on for 6 weeks and it’s still not finished. I’ve learned a lot about oils on the way and I’ve gone through at least 6 bouquets of red tulips in the process.

It has been enjoyable to try a different colors, new brushstrokes and to morph from oil sticks to tubes and back again.

They say we learn the most from our challenges and this painting is an example of that.
I’m not finished.  I wanted to show you that some paintings have many other similar paintings underneath!

However, there can only be one finished painting, and I’d like it to reveal itself please.

Now I’m thinking of obliterating the china and even going back to a round table.

It’s not easy.